- WHO | 2. Background
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- Chronic Disease in the Twentieth Century
- Heart Disease and Stroke Mortality in the Twentieth Century
The social and welfare institutions and actors around chronicity or disability not only provided a frame for practicing medicine. They also stimulated the production of new types of knowledge, gave impetus to new ways of practicing medicine, and played a role in fostering the massive efforts to produce new pharmaceutical products.
WHO | 2. Background
What has emerged is a new landscape of institutions dealing with these problems, including research institutes, public health administrations, specialized hospitals, medico-social structures, health and social insurance bureaucracies, users' associations and pharmaceutical companies. However, chronic disease and disability did not suddenly emerge as new problems for health professionals and administrators in the mid 20th century.
Throughout the 19th century, for instance, "incurables" were seen as a burden for hospitals, which in many cases refused to admit them. At the turn of the 20th century invalids were the target of some of the first public assistance initiatives within the emerging welfare states. Almost everywhere, invalidity became divided up into separate categories, each requiring distinctive institutional and sometimes therapeutic frameworks.
The long story of chronicity should then be seen as that of redefinition and reshaping by a variety of institutions and movements of issues and conceptual categories surrounding the relationship between the medical and the social needs of certain populations that seemed always to be expanding. The aim of this workshop is thus to explore this changing landscape of medical, social, political, administrative, commercial and, not least, scientific institutions that have been created or recreated during the 20th century to deal with chronicity and disability.
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Chronic Disease in the Twentieth Century
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Heart Disease and Stroke Mortality in the Twentieth Century
By the end of the century, that is, medical professionals and state bodies united in heralding systems of prescriptive patient records, care guidelines and clinical audits as the best means to both guarantee quality of medical care, and, by improving risk management, to improve national outcomes by extension. Despite these systems simultaneously being applied to other forms of medical practice, I concluded that the key characteristics of chronic diseases as defined during the s and s meant that chronic disease control formed a central testing ground for these new techniques of medical management.
I completed my PhD at the University of Warwick in , having also studied there for my undergraduate and Master's degrees in history and the history of medicine respectively. During my doctorate, I was fortunate enough to undertake an ESRC-funded internship within the Scottish Government and to work closely with the Industry and Parliamentary Trust as an author of their health memos I joined the University of Exeter as an Associate Research Fellow shortly after finishing my PhD, and hope to build on these policy experiences within my latest project.
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