Revista Română de Sociologie (Feb 2011)

Subjective Perception of Disease and Community Health Services. An Exploratory Research at Hospice Casa Speranţei Braşov


Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 3-4
pp. 233 – 248


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This article proposes a two-dimensional approach to a current topic in the sociology of health and disease: the relationship between illness and social services providing support to patients and their families. The two-dimensional approach refers to a micro-macro perspective: the subjective perception of disease and the needs felt by the patient (micro perspective) as a starting point for medical and social services organization and for shaping healthcare policy (macro perspective). The article contains the results of a qualitative analysis of data obtained by conducting interviews with twelve patients of Brasov Hope House Hospice. This is the only institution dealing with palliative care in Brasov county. The analysis focused on two dimensions of research: 1. changes caused by the emergence and evolution of disease, in an attempt to reconstruct the dynamics of feelings and facts associated with the process of „disease living" and 2. aspects of formal social networks (services) and informal support networks, including here the perception of the services offered by the palliative care institution that has been the beneficiary of this research.