The allegory of the cave is a famous passage in the history of philosophy. It is a short excerpt from the beginning of Plato’s book, The Republic (1). There are a number of different interpretations of the allegory, but the one that I would like to present is within the context of education, specifically knowledge translation and the content, style and manner of its delivery. I would like to conclude with relating this to how we, as health care professionals, present knowledge within a professional dialogue.
Imagine a group of prisoners who have been chained since they were children in an underground cave. Their hands, feet, and necks are chained so that they are unable to move. All they can see in front of them, for their entire lives, is the back wall of the cave.
Rolf is Specialist in clinical psychology and Professor Emeritus, University of South-Eastern Norway, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Health, Social and Welfare Studies, Centre for Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
In June 1972 I got off the bus outside the village of Lier, Norway, slowly walking towards the regional mental hospital. I was 18 years old with both anxiety and tense expectation about this new experience; working as a nursing assistant in a mental hospital. I was received by the nursing principal who informed me that I was to work on Ward 23. I was sent on a round to get my nursing assistant uniform, keys and a place to stay. My living quarters was in a house named the House of Brothers.
Brian Broom, immunologist, psychotherapist and CauseHealth senior advisor
Most Western clinicians who pursue a person-centred approach to physical illness experience significant resistance from colleagues and health institutions. At first glance this may seem strange. Wouldn’t everybody want to be person-centred and oriented to the unique patient? Isn’t it obvious that the appearance and development of disease is commonly multi-causal and multidimensional? Surely anyone can see that disease is a manifestation or representation within, and of, the ‘whole’, whether that ‘whole’ is the presenting individual, or a bigger ‘whole’, such as family or culture. But life is not so simple. (This blog post is an extract. Read the long text here.)
As you might have noticed, CauseHealth has joined forces with Oliver Thomson and his Words Matter podcast! As an introduction to our book for new readers – or as an extra resource for old readers – we wanted to have one podcast episodes for each book chapter, where Oliver interviews the author(s) of that chapter. It is going really well, and we have now covered all of Part 1, setting up the philosophical framework of dispositionalism, and are now moving on to Part 2, of clinical applications, showing how that framework can be used in practice. Today, episode 7 was released, where Christine Price talks about how she encountered philosophy of dispositions and causation and how she then used this to understand and manage her own chronic pain. You find this and other episodes on the Words Matter webpage!
“Inspired by the Words Matter podcast’s Cause Health Series, Bill Taylor and Evie Martin discuss their reactions to the ideas presented in the podcast. They discuss how they think the biopsychosocial model has influenced physiotherapy practice for better or worse, and how we can “move beyond” it in clinic, as suggested by the Cause Health project.”
The video chat was recorded by Stephen King, co-founder of Vocal Health Education, and appears in the second tier qualification they offer; The Vocal Health Practitioner. Watch the video on physical therapist Walt Fritz‘s website, Foundations in Manual Therapy – Science Informed Manual Therapy Education, where he also offers a range of educational resources on patient centred manual care.
It is the business of pharmacovigilance to evidence causal failure: when the effects of the drugs are unexpected. Simply knowing that a medicine can affect or interact with a particular biological mechanism is itself a valuable piece of causal information, argue Elena Rocca, Rani Lill Anjum and Stephen Mumford in a recent publication. Read more about this and the CauseHealth collaboration with Uppsala Monitoring Centre (UMC) in Uppsala Reports.
The magazine Uppsala Reports, which disseminates globally the updates from UMC and the WHO Programme for International Drug Monitoring since 1996, has dedicated the cover of its 82nd issue to our project, CauseHealth Risk and Safety.
There is still a lot of confusion regarding the word “biopsychosocial”. Yes it’s a compound word made up of three other words Biological (physical), Psychological (of the mind) and Social (of the environment).The trouble is that just like the word biopsychosocial is all one, so are humans.