Between Traditional and Scientific Medicine: A Research Strategy for the Study of the Pathways to Treatment Followed by a Group of Mexican Patients with Emotional Disorders

  • Shoshana Berenzon Gorn National Institute of Psychiatry
  • Emily Ito Sugiyama National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Keywords: qualitative research on health, social construction of reality, pathways to treatment, emotional disorders, Mexico

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to show how, on the basis of the social construction of reality and the informants' speech, it is possible to obtain original knowledge of the pathways to treatment of patients seeking to restore their mental health. The information presented is based on 13 people's verbal explanations of their pathways to treatment. According to Peter BERGER and Thomas LUCKMANN (1988), the language used by individuals in everyday life is the most effective means of transmitting meanings; it represents the objective accumulation of vast amounts of experience and meanings by this group. By extension, the language a group uses to talk about health constitutes its objectivized experience regarding this phenomenon at the same time as it serves to express it. As in the theoretical aspect, the methodological aspect emphasizes the aim of constructing a spoken, participatory form of knowledge, which is why a qualitative methodology was used. The techniques used focused on non-participatory observation, field diaries and semi-structured interviews. The interviewees' narrations and the observations carried out showed that the population has no problem combining various medical systems. The importance they place on each one depends, among other things, on their financial possibilities, logistic problems, their past experiences with the various systems, anecdotal information on the results obtained and the social networks available. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs040229

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Author Biographies

Shoshana Berenzon Gorn, National Institute of Psychiatry
Shoshana BERENZON GORN studied her Bachelor's degree in Psychology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) obtaining her degree in 1994. Subsequently studied her Master's and PhD's on Social Psychology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, obtaining her PhD in 2003. Researcher at the National Institute of Psychiatry in Mexico, working at the Division of Epidemiological and Social Research. Her research interests are drug abuse, mental health, and alternative resources to treat mental health problems. Professor at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She has published 24 articles in national and international journals, 20 book chapters. She has participated in 42 national and international congresses.
Emily Ito Sugiyama, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Emily ITO SUGIYAMA received her Bachelor's, Master's and Ph.D. in Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). She is currently a full time Tenure Professor of Psychology at UNAM and Chair of the Social Psychology Department. She teaches methodology to undergraduate and graduate students. Her research topics include cultural values, identity and sociopsychological impact of economic globalization.
Published
2004-05-31
How to Cite
Berenzon Gorn, S., & Ito Sugiyama, E. (2004). Between Traditional and Scientific Medicine: A Research Strategy for the Study of the Pathways to Treatment Followed by a Group of Mexican Patients with Emotional Disorders. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-5.2.605