Illness behaviour

Aim: To determine what influences and decisions precede the consultation.

Using the illness behaviour questionnaire, the doctor should ask each patient:

  1. What made them consult with their problem at this particular time
  2. How they coped with the problem until they came to see you

Illness behaviour


  1. To determine what influences and decisions precede the consultation:
    • What makes people consult the doctor
    • The effect of life events on illness
  2. To underline the need for exploration of health beliefs
  3. Stigma, labelling and blaming
    • Will Pickles’ attitude – “These are good people”
    • The meanings of labels for people
    • The effects of being given labels

Questions to explore

  1. Do doctors provide a socially useful service in keeping patients at work?
  2. Is medicine an efficient closed shop that has, therefore, an unassailable position of power?
  3. What is the theology behind your unique professional care?
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