In Favor of Research Appropriate to its Subject Matter: Human Beings in the Context of Medical Care

Rudolph Friedrich Wagner


In this paper theoretical arguments and practical examples are presented in favour of research methods appropriate to their subject matter: the study and treatment of human beings in the context of medical care. The point of departure is a methodological one-sidedness in the areas of coping behaviour and psychotherapy. This one-sided exploration of the patient leads to a reduction of his or her humanity. As in the areas of coping behaviour and psychotherapy, the individual search for meaning plays a central role, the scientific neglect of its competency to construct viable models has especially negative consequences which are seen in both the unsatisfactory research findings and in the discontent of patients with their treatment. Studies of my own which have grown out of the research programme 'Subjective Theories' offer alternative possibilities for research that have a positive effect on the concrete treatment situation. Within the area of psychotherapy, an integration of various therapeutical procedures is presented which offsets the existing reductionist tendencies within individual schools and in so doing opens the way to an anthropologically appropriate non-reductionist therapeutic method.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0002273


assumed concepts of human being; chronic illness; compliance; coping behaviour; health beliefs; integration of methodologies; object-method-interaction; psychotherapy; qualitative research; subjective theories


Copyright (c) 2000 Rudolph Friedrich Wagner

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