Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Persuasive definitions are a form of slanting in which a definition is used to
gain an argumentative advantage. They often alter the meaning of a term by
associating it with a term of clear positive or negative connotation. They may
or may not be based on evidence. (“That is what they call it and how they do
it at 'the other' hospital!”) Stipulative and operational definitions are better.
Definitions are the first determinants if what we understand and do is
good, bad, or meaningless.
Framing means in social sciences and psychology the social construction
of a social phenomenon by mass media or specific political or social move-
ments and organizations. 30 It is considered as an inevitable process of selec-
tive influence over the individual's perception of the meanings attributed to
words and phrases. Health activities, care and programs, and medical infor-
mation (journals, books, spoken word) are and may be subject to framing.
Rhetoric is used to encourage certain interpretations and discourage others.
Defining, structuring, and interpreting medical research is a necessary
subject of framing which allows, preferably in an unbiased way, the “frame”
within which a research finding applies (setting, human context, applicabil-
ity, etc.). It may be then good or bad.
In medicine , defining health problems in the context of target population
(patients, community, etc.), prevailing or specific practices of clinical and
community care, or social, political, economical, spiritual (faith) environ-
ments means building and specifying a “frame” within which our views of
health problems and events are valid.
In epidemiology , expressing specificity of a causal association in terms of
risk differences (absolute risk difference, attributable risk), etiological frac-
tions (attributable risk percent, relative risk reduction), and ensuing inter-
pretation of the importance of findings may depend on how the meaning
of each measure is “framed”: An absolute measure may be interpreted and
considered more important for ensuing practical and research interpretations
and decisions than its relative equivalent and vice versa.
Our hypotheses are propositions to be evaluated, accepted, or refuted in
light of clinical experience with the case or problem or by a research study.
Questions for clinical or research problem solving 31-34 offer (in various
combinations and completeness from case to case) specifications about the
population under consideration (in the study and/or beyond the study), inter-
vention (treatment, care), condition of interest (disease stage, spectrum, gradi-
ent, etc.), controls when comparisons are made for the sake of interpretations,
outcomes (possible results), setting (specifics about the clinical care human and
physical environment), and time frame (interval within the course of disease,
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