folk illness


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to folk illness: Culture-bound syndrome

illness

 [il´nes]
folk illness the experience of symptoms that are not identifiable with biomedical categories of disease; causes include natural forces, supernatural factors, interpersonal factors, and emotions. An example is susto, which is a Hispanic term for fright caused by a traumatic experience. Symptoms include listlessness, loss of appetite, and withdrawal. Curanderos (folk healers) treat the illness with prayers, rituals, and laying on of hands.
psychosomatic illness somatoform disorder.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.

folk illness

A disease or condition found only in specific societies, ethnic groups, or cultures. Often the culture has causal explanations for these illnesses, as well as preventive and treatment measures. Well-known examples are present in the Hispanic American culture (e.g., empacho, caida de mollera, mal de ojo, susto). These are diagnosed and treated by folk healers called curanderos. Some other examples of folk illnesses include amok and piblokto, though numerous other examples exist within multiple cultures. See: amok; piblokto
See also: illness
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
The MACC-SF is composed of five subscales representing each of the five constructs: (a) familism, (b) fatalism, (c) folk illness, (d) machismo, and (e) personalismo.
Coefficient alphas for the Familism, Fatalism, Folk Illness, Machismo, and Personalismo subscales were .65, .63, .75, .78, and .47, respectively.
(Some in UP will go further and say brightest among the bright, but I worry about the boasting bringing usog, a folk illness, to our students.)
The most unique culturally related health conditions, however, are folk illnesses (called curanderismo).
Of the 32 women who believed in either of the two folk illnesses, 20 (63%) complied poorly with antihypertensive treatment, compared with six (27%) of 22 who believed in biomedical hypertension (relative risk=2.3; 95% confidence interval [Cl]=1.2-4.4).