Folk medicine in the Southwest. Myths and medical facts

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Abstract

The three folk illnesses described in this article - caida de mollera, susto, and empacho - can all be linked to recognized biologic conditions and therefore cannot be analyzed solely on the basis of sociocultural factors. Clearly, it would be a mistake to continue ignoring these syndromes in the Southwest on the assumption that they are 'all in the mind' of Mexican-American patients. They must be assessed from the view that they are culturally different labels for serious medical conditions (eg, caida de mollera), that they are useful screening labels for patients with high disease loads (eg, susto), or that they are harmless in and of themselves but their treatment may have significant medical consequences (eg, empacho).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-179
Number of pages13
JournalPostgraduate Medicine
Volume78
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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