This article described the purpose of the symposium in 2019 with regard to “Reviewing and Overseeing the Japanese Journal of Health and Medical Sociology.” First, it described the history of the Journal’s review system and the current revision of the system in 2020. Second, it explained the purpose of the symposium in 2019 and introduced the speakers’ presentations. Finally, it concluded the discussion of the symposium and pointed out issues for further improvements.
This article aimed to give light on what the Japanese Society of Health and Medical Sociology has done in thirty years by the analysis of the journal of it. We can find a consistent theme throughout from the study group of health and medicine, the predecessor of this society. It has been questioned about what caretakers want, how they feel, and what caregivers can do for them. The practical themes of the articles have changed as the real society. More and more articles emphasized on the caretakers’ perspectives recently. To know what this society nurtured will help us to prospect for the future.
The author classified and examined the printing papers of the Japanese Journal of Health and Medical Sociology in the following three categories. The first category is a category of the papers on social sciences in health. The second category is a category of the papers with different sociological viewpoints from papers with medical viewpoints. The third category is a category of the papers focusing on patient’s viewpoints. It is a category of the papers with the purpose of revising viewpoints based on professionals in medical and health fields. In these three categories, it is shown that there are many papers which are conscious of the contribution to practice of medical and health fields.
The research subjects of Health and Medical sociology are “Health care” and “Society,” or those methodologies are affluent to be acceptable in a wide range of social science approaches. Tolerance towards diverse research subjects and approaches is a distinct attraction from highly specialized medical societies. In this paper, the expectation to “Discovery of Health and Medical Sociological Value and Creation of Knowledge” in the field of health medicine sociology with such interdisciplinary nature, and the difficulty of the establishment of the academic communications necessary for the achievement and agenda are described from the viewpoint of the nursing science researcher. That is to say, 1) the category of medical research, including clinical nursing research, are controlled what and to what extent they should be explained by an ethical review examination, 2) there is a gap in the body of knowledge and its replacement speed between health and medical fields and the social sciences. 3)With the relatively small control of the editorial committee, there is no consensus to judge the value of the “new” knowledge and theory, depending on the reviewer within their own backgrounds.
This article discusses about the significant role of the Annual Review of Health and Medical Sociology in the history of the Japanese version of medical sociology. The author reconsiders the process whereby the Japanese version of health and medical sociology was established since the 1970s, reviewing the articles of the Review in the earlier days and other materials that were published under the name of the Japanese Society of Health and Medical Sociology in the 1980s. It reveals that there were some unique experiences in Japan especially on health damages in the 1960s and the 1970s that made the social scientists who were interested in health problems carry out the sociological researches of health and social sufferings in Japan. Those damages included the drug induced sufferings and the environmental pollution induced sufferings. Such experiences gave birth to the Japanese version of health and medical sociology (Type A). This type of medical sociology interacted with the imported western type of medical sociology (Type B) in and out of the Annual Review. Such interactions have consequently produced the fruitful result of the contemporary Japanese health and medical sociology.
Recent studies show that child delivery in medical facilities became popular in the urban areas from the 1920s, and medical facilities established for the low-income population attracted many expectant mothers at that time. This study focuses on Tokyo City from the 1920s to the 1930s and clarifies these points: 1) Most of such facilities were concentrated in the city center. 2) The poorest low-income expectant mothers hesitated to use these facilities because the usage fee was expensive even if it was reduced for them, and they found the procedure for hospitalization cumbersome. These women sometimes relied on beginner midwives who assisted with child delivery for a small fee to pay for their training. Sometimes, low-income expectant mothers who had been hospitalized became teaching subjects for medical and midwifery students in these facilities. Therefore, there was a hierarchy among patients who were used as teaching subjects.
This study aimed to clarify how a medical theory was applied to the Japanese education system. Sociological studies of autism have analyzed narratives and discourses affected by the medical knowledge that autism is a brain disorder. Few studies, however, have examined the process by which autism came to be treated as a brain disorder in the education system, which mainly contributed to the proliferation of this knowledge. By analyzing administrative and medical documents, the following result was found: while bureaucrats recognized the medical theory behind autism, it was treated as a psychogenic disorder by the education system in order to ensure educational opportunities for autistic children in the 1970s. The education reform in the 2000s repositioned it as a brain disorder on the assumption that a more precise medical knowledge could be helpful to meet the increasingly diverse needs of children.
Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA)—the basic principle guiding the world’s measures to address AIDS—has not been adopted consistently in Japan. This article aims to consider, from the perspective of GIPA, the initiatives taken in the 1990s that fostered hope for the survival of people living with HIV. Analyses revealed that since gaining access to information concerning patient survival and activities of daily living was difficult, initiatives such as peer support and collaborative creation of medical information publications focused on improving “health literacy.” These initiatives helped people living with HIV (1) overcome the crisis where illness experiences are unvoiced, (2) improve their “capability” to accumulate wisdom by sharing information and feelings, and led to (3) a new social movement where patients contributed as citizens responsible for caring for others. In the future, modifying GIPA to include “greater involvement of people living with chronic illness” will be necessary.
Recently, rural and community nurses who provide community-based care have become the focus of attention due to changes in the types of illnesses, the decreasing birthrate, and the aging of the population in rural areas of Japan. The objective of this study was to examine the professionalism of nurses who provide community-based care in areas where caregiving capacity is declining, focusing on visiting nurses in the sparsely populated area of Oguni, Yamagata Prefecture. Visiting nurses from a visiting nurse station at a municipal hospital were followed, participant observations and interviews of the nurses were conducted, and the care they practiced was analyzed qualitatively. The findings revealed that nurses in Oguni practiced care that respected the geographic and familial ties characteristic of areas that receive heavy snowfall and the family and community history that those ties engender. The results suggested that the nurses held the roles of both health care workers and local residents, giving rise to health care worker skills that are associated with the context of decision-making for local patients and families, and that this is the professionalism of rural nurses who provide community-based care.
This study aimed to clarify the processes involved in nursing care using qualitative investigation. Ten career nurses participated in semi-structured interviews, and the data were analyzed using the modified grounded theory approach. In delivering care, career nurses had difficulty separating from patients’ realities. However, repeated introspection enabled them to recognize their limits as individuals and deal with patients while building mutually beneficial relationships with others, thereby overcoming the previous difficulties. Nurses applied four kinds of care based on their patients’ changing condition: “listening care,” “watching over daily life care,” “handling changes care,” and “seamless care.” They followed this process when rebuilding the lifestyle of each individual patient.
Patient interactions demand introspection by nurses. Individual care is tailored to patients’ condition and nurses build interactive relationships with them, their families, and others involved with patient care.
Since the second half of the twentieth century, various problems in people’s daily lives have become more and more subject to medical intervention. At the same time, the mechanism of screening to detect “risk factors” of a disease has been developed. Sociological studies have been working on understanding and explaining these situations applying the theory of medicalization and surveillance medicine. By focusing on the controversy surrounding the screening, which has been revolved around United States in recent years, this paper presents that social trends shown in the screening debates seem to suggest the irrelevance of the model these theories adopted. The reconstruction of the surveillance medicine theory will be achieved throughout careful consideration of prevailing viewpoint of “benefit–harm” of medical intervention.