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Anthropology and Public HealthBridging Differences in Culture and Society$
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Robert A Hahn and Marcia Inborn

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195374643

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374643.001.0001

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Diagnosis and Management of Asthma in the Medical Marketplace of India: Implications for Efforts to Improve Global Respiratory Health

Diagnosis and Management of Asthma in the Medical Marketplace of India: Implications for Efforts to Improve Global Respiratory Health

Chapter:
(p.65) 2 Diagnosis and Management of Asthma in the Medical Marketplace of India: Implications for Efforts to Improve Global Respiratory Health
Source:
Anthropology and Public Health
Author(s):

David Van Sickle

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195374643.003.0003

The increasing burden of asthma in developing countries has emerged as an important challenge to global public health. While international organizations have emphasized the role of guidelines in improving the diagnosis and management of asthma, very little is known about how practicing clinicians in these settings have responded to the rising prevalence and growing public health importance of these diseases. This chapter presents a case study from India that examines the changing social and epidemiological profile of asthma, and the evolution of allopathic clinical practices in the context of a pluralistic medical marketplace. Through ethnographic research among physicians, it identifies day-to-day determinants of diagnosis and treatment of patients in a variety of clinics, and examines the factors limiting their implementation of asthma guidelines.

Keywords:   asthma, India, respiratory health, guidelines, diagnosis, medical pluralism

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