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


  • Rudolph Friedrich Wagner Universität Würzburg



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


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


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Author Biography

Rudolph Friedrich Wagner, Universität Würzburg

Dr. phil. Rudolph Friedrich WAGNER, Diplom-Psychologe; Studium der Psychologie an der Universität Heidelberg, Diplom 1989. Tätigkeit in verschiedenen Forschungsprojekten in den Bereichen Theoretische Psychologie, Klinische Psychologie, Psychosomatik und Medizinstatistik. Promotion 1995. Wissenschaftlicher Assistent am Institut für Psychotherapie und Medizinische Psychologie der Universität Würzburg. Tätigkeitsschwerpunkte: Forschung: Verbindung von qualitativem und quantitativem Vorgehen in der Medizinischen Psychologie und Psychotherapie mit den Schwerpunkten Krankheitsverarbeitung und Psychotherapie. Integration psychotherapeutischer Richtungen. Praxis: Behandlung von Patienten mit psychischen, psychosomatischen und somatischen Erkrankungen im ambulanten Setting sowie im Konsil- und Liaisondienst. Lehrtherapeut und Supervisor. Lehre: Unterricht von Studenten, Ärzten und Diplom-Psychologen in den Fächern Medizinische Psychologie, Psychosomatik und Psychotherapie.



How to Cite

Wagner, R. F. (2000). In Favor of Research Appropriate to its Subject Matter: Human Beings in the Context of Medical Care. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(2).