Healthcare and Medicine Reference
4. Causes and consequences may be also seen, studied, and understood
as webs . Given possible multidirectional, causal, and other relation-
ships between multiple causes and consequences, webs of causes and
webs of consequences are studied not only for better understanding of
cause → effect relationships, but also to find the best ways to inter-
vene. Figure 2.10 represents the modified Friedman's web of causes of
myocardial infarction. 53
5. For a better understanding of the problems, for both learning and teaching
and research purposes, concept maps are developed and used. Originally,
they were developed mostly for the nonmedical world. 54 Causal factors are
part of them, but in an even broader concept that visualizes overall think-
ing about a health problem, its components, and interactions between
them. Webs of causes and consequences, views about the underlying bio-
logical, pathological, and other mechanisms underlying health problems
and clinical considerations (diagnostic, therapeutic, prognostic, and others),
decisions and actions about them may be part of the concept maps. The
resulting picture, therefore, goes well beyond any kind of cause-effect
relationship only. Figure 2.11 is a good example of a concept map. Causal
factors are highlighted as parts of this wider health problem context.
N.B. Usually, concept maps are developed and presented in sequence,
ramification, and direction from top to bottom. Arrows indicate such a
sequence and direction. How can this figure be read and understood? In
this presentation, we propose a sequence, ramification, and direction from
left to right. Arrows indicating cause-effect relationships show the direc-
tion from cause to effect rather than the direction of the development and
reading of the concept map. The sequence and direction are preserved in
the spatial distribution of the concept map elements from left to right.
In this example, we can identify several areas and paths indicated by
their connectors .
For example, epidemiologically speaking,
− By “can be,” “caused by,” “causes,” “due to,” we may follow a chain
or web of causes and their consequences developing into a cause of
the next or another consequence.
− By “as in” or “type of,” we may consider location, body systemic site,
and some aspects of diagnosis.
− “Can result in” indicates outcomes or consequences.
− “Requires,” “prevention of,” “treated with,” “prevented by” suggests
interventions at various levels of prevention (primary or secondary
in this case).