Description of illness: limitations and approaches

J Fam Pract. 1980 May;10(5):867-70.


The collection of health information by diaries has raised questions about the limitations of existing diagnostic terms and taxonomies in describing ill health in an holistic fashion. Despite the advantage of the problem oriented medical record system in recognizing the social and psychological dimensions of illness, problem lists do not communicate the unique mix of problems for any individual. An argument is made for more anecdotal description of illness in medical records and more research to develop a systems approach to describe ill health.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diagnosis*
  • Female
  • Health
  • Humans
  • Manuscripts as Topic
  • Medical Records, Problem-Oriented / standards
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Systems Theory
  • Terminology as Topic*