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CauseHealth and the clinic. Philosophical bias in medicine

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Any science is built on assumptions that are non-empirical, and rarely debated.

A seminar at NMBU invited a group of clinicians from around Norway to discuss philosophical biases in medicine with us and each other. We discussed the challenge of pursuing genuine person centered healthcare for individual patient in a system of New Public Management, standardisation and silo medicine. The invited participants had backgrounds from psychology, nursing, general practice, psychiatry, physiotherapy, osteopathy, rehabilitation, speech language pathology, and more. (more…)

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A philosophical conundrum at the heart of the cranial debate: as explained by Professor Stephen Tyreman

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A reminder of the great mind and gentle humanity of Stephen Tyreman.  I was honoured to be sent this to publish on the blog, and hope that through writings such as this, he can continue to enlighten and inform us.  He wrote it in response to a piece by Monica Noy on “cognitive dissonance”.


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Cranial Concept, Reality and Perception

Thanks Monica for this honest and thought-provoking piece and also to Penny for drawing my attention to Monica’s thoughts.  It takes a lot of courage to speak out against the prevailing assumptions, practices and mores of any group and particularly of osteopathy which continues to be defensive and therefore somewhat ‘touchy’ about its identity and status in respect to other parts of healthcare.

I suppose I’m a bit closer to Penny’s view on the cranial concept, which is that while the theoretical ‘foundation’ of cranial work is very suspect with…

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CAUSAL DISPOSITIONS IN RISK ANALYSIS

Capture 3Technology should make our life better, easier and safer. And yet, medicines, pesticides, nanotechnologies, biotechnologies et cetera, may represent a potential threat to health and environment. Some of the new technologies might be safe for most, but they could still be harmful for vulnerable individuals, communities or ecosystems. (more…)

Managing Complexity In Musculoskeletal Conditions: Reflections From A Physiotherapist

In this blog (and linked article), physiotherapist Matt Low explains how he uses patient narratives, mind-maps and the vector model of causation to help his patients. The result is a person-centered approach that emphasises causal complexity, individual context and the idea that at least some of the causes of pain can be counteracted and thus controlled by the patient. Matt is a collaborator of CauseHealth and this is his second article describing his unique approach to chronic pain.

Perspectives on Physiotherapy

I was fortunate enough to have been invited by Physio First to contribute to their journal ‘In Touch’ and I chose to write about managing complexity with the different types of ‘evidence’ that we deal with in a healthcare setting.

This is an area of interest for me and I still grapple with many areas of clinical practice.  These include balancing the normative and narrative examination, evaluating and weighting the evidence appropriately for the person seeking care in front of me and also reconciling and communicating the reasoning process within a person centred framework.  Clearly, this is work in progress and I hope this reflective piece demonstrates a movement in this direction.

I hope this paper is informative and useful in that it shares some of my deliberations, thoughts and perspectives in clinical care.

Many thanks to Physio First http://www.physiofirst.org.uk/ for giving me the opportunity to share this.

Managing complexity…

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Living with complexity and big data. Causal dispositionalim enters pharmacovigilance

Ralph Edwards on dispositionalism in pharmacovigilance

We have seen a lot of interest in the CauseHealth approach and issues during these last years, especially among clinicians who see a need for a more person centered healthcare. Can this be useful also outside the clinic? Yes, according to senior medical advisor at the WHO Uppsala Monitoring Center for Drug Safety, Ralph Edwards. In a recent perspectives article in the UMC report, he argues that dispositionalism can be useful for dealing with complexity, individual variation and the patient’s unique context. (more…)

What if…

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Author Anna Luise Kirkengen
(#2 of the Whole Person reflections series)

What if one would weave a text by means of threads coloured by the recent topics of the on-going CauseHealth project. One thread would be causality, and how it is understood and applied in current biomedicine. Another would be ontology in the sense of how a human being and the human body is conceptualised in medicine and how this concept underpins the Western health care systems. A third thread would be methodology, and how the predominant methods for knowledge production, group based, randomised trials often including thousands of patients, might be radically challenged by the concept of N=1. A fourth thread would be stories in the sense of biographies before a person fell ill, and stories in the sense of testimonies of being ill – and how these have been systematically avoided as possible source of contamination in medical knowledge production. A fifth thread would then be knowledge condensates as these have grown both in number and normativity in the shape of clinical guidelines in all medical specialties during the latest years. Together, these threads can form quite different pictures, dependent on the frame applied. (more…)

What is the Guidelines Challenge?

Rani Lill Anjum

CauseHealth recently organised a conference in Oxford called The Guidelines Challenge: Philosophy, Practice, Policy.

For those who missed the event, podcasts of the talks are available on our YouTube channel, and there is also a summary from each of the two days on Storify (day 1, day 2). There is also a Twitter hashtag, #GuidelinesChallenge.
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