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J Nurs Acad Soc. 1987 Aug;17(2):145-152. Korean. Original Article.
Kim NS .

The problem addressed by this study was to reveal what people of Korean rural villages think about the cause, treatment and prevention of illness. The purpose was to contribute to the building of a concept of health toward the development of Korean Nursing Theory. Subjects were residents of five districts among four counties in a fanning area of Chonbuk province recommended by health workers as appropriate informants. They were interviewed in their home3, using ethnoscientific methods developed in anthropology. The research tool consisted of open questions developed through the literature and preliminary exploratory interviews. Data were analyzed by classifying each concepts of cause, treatment and prevention of illness or illness symptoms collated by frequency and percentaage. The causes of illness are conceived as primarily concrete physical and natural, for examples, overeating, lack of energy, changes in the season and extreme temperatures. Compared to others studies, few supernatural causes related to traditional view of illness were identified. Concepts of the treatment of illness included formal treatments used by modern western or oriental physicians and traditional therapists. But folk medicine used by traditional healers or by the family in the home was most prevalent. The concept of illness prevention originated in the concept of the cause of illness, thus primarily physical and natural, for examples, nutritious food, limiting the amount of food, avoiding becoming cold. When the concept of illness of rural Korean is researched from a sociocultural aspect, the traditional views of an evil cause of ill health and treatment by supernatural methods is not found to be prevalent but folk medicine still occupies a large place in treatment which si often a complex mixture from many mysterious sources. The significance of this study lies in the fact that ethnonursing research can contribute basic data toward the development of Korean nursing theories. Modern western medical cocnepts have not been accepted unconditionally: traditional concepts are alive and dynamic in Korea and must be recognized in Korean nursing.

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