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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 236-245

How to Teach Holistic Care – Meeting the Challenge of Complexity in Clinical Practice

Department of General Practice, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Joachim Sturmberg
PO Box 3010, Wamberal, NSW 2260
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Context: Removal of underlying pathologies through the application of science and technology alone will not restore a patient's health; that will require connecting with the person behind the disease. Being ill changes physical and social functioning, emotional well-being, and last but not least, it affects one's self-concept. It invariably leads to questions of the meaning and understanding of being ill, hence Pauli et al. (2000) termed the notion of a somato-psycho-socio-semiotic paradigm of health. Objective: Understanding health in this context allows the conceptualization of health as a balance between these four domains. Methods and Conclusions: This paper describes, through a systems-based methodology, the translation of the somato-psycho-socio-semiotic understanding of health into a flexible teaching approach for students and in a postgraduate setting for registrars. This teaching mode, by making the different dimensions that affect a person's health transparent, has helped learners to rapidly progress towards our goal of becoming holistically practicing clinicians.

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