Medical sociology and health services research: past accomplishments and future policy challenges.

Eric R. Wright, Brea L. Perry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    24 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The rising costs and inconsistent quality of health care in the United States have raised significant questions among professionals, policy makers, and the public about the way health services are being delivered. For the past 50 years, medical sociologists have made significant contributions in improving our understanding of the nature and impact of the organizations that constitute our health care system. In this article, we discuss three central findings in the sociology of health services: (1) health services in the U.S. are unequally distributed, contributing to health inequalities across status groups; (2) social institutions reproduce health care inequalities by constraining and enabling the actions of health service organizations, health care providers, and consumers; and (3) the structure and dynamics of health care organizations shape the quality, effectiveness, and outcomes of health services for different groups and communities. We conclude with a discussion of the policy implications of these findings for future health care reform efforts.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Health and Social Behavior
    Volume51 Suppl
    StatePublished - 2010

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    Medical Sociology
    Health Services Research
    Health Services
    Organizations
    Healthcare Disparities
    Delivery of Health Care
    Health Care Reform
    Sociology
    Quality of Health Care
    Administrative Personnel
    Health Personnel
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    Health

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
    • Social Psychology

    Cite this

    Medical sociology and health services research : past accomplishments and future policy challenges. / Wright, Eric R.; Perry, Brea L.

    In: Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Vol. 51 Suppl, 2010.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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