Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
UCHOA, Elizabeth and VIDAL, Jean Michel. Medical anthropology: conceptual and methodological elements for an approach to health and disease. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1994, vol.10, n.4, pp. 497-504. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1994000400010.
This paper discusses the relevance, specificity, and potential of the anthropological approach to health and illness. Medical anthropology is shown as complementary to other approaches that currently deal with public health problems. The impact of social and cultural factors on health-related perceptions and behaviors is illustrated and commented. A conceptual and methodological framework is also proposed to systematize the study of representations and practices of communities in the area of public health. The specific contribution of the anthropological approach is discussed in terms of the effectiveness of public health programs.
Keywords : Medical Anthropology; Perceptions and Behaviors; Public Health.