The family as the unit of medical care

J Fam Pract. 1978 Aug;7(2):303-13.


This review of the literature on the family and medical care involves an expedition into the sister disciplines of epidemiology, sociology, and psychology. There is a considerable volume of evidence that documents how important to the individual's health is his family. This material has been organized into four categories: (1) the family's contribution to the "cause" of disease, (2) the family's contribution to the "cure" of disease, (3) the family's response to serious or chronic disease, and (4) the family's desire and/or need for family-oriented care. In the conclusion, some implications for the future of the discipline of family medicine are discussed in relation to the material presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Communicable Diseases / genetics
  • Communicable Diseases / psychology
  • Disease / etiology
  • Disease / psychology*
  • Family*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Primary Health Care
  • Rehabilitation / psychology
  • Socioeconomic Factors