Ibacache J, Neira J, Aliaga F, Neira Y, Ñanco M, Castro M, Migueles M. Análisis colectivo de historias clínicas en la comuna . [Collective analysis of clinical histories in an Indian community.] Salud y Cambio [Health and Change] ( Santiago , Chile ) 1995; 6(20):16-22.

Objectives: To describe the experience within a Mapuche Indian community in Chile , where clinical cases were collectively analyzed.

Methodology: The method employed was the creation of a discussion group made up of health professionals, leaders and members of the indigenous communities, and agents of traditional medicine, coordinated by a cultural facilitator. The facilitator was acquainted with the different medical models involved in the study.

Results: The coexistence of medical models that conceive of life, illness, and death in a manner different from that of the population receiving care determines, in the case of illness, a therapeutic path that can lead to timely use of the public health system. This path is also conditioned by economic factors and by the organization of the Western health care services network.

The authors analyzed the collective histories in the Mapuche community. They examined conditions such as hepatitis, congenital malformations, appropriate use of medicines, inappropriate use of alcohol, accidents, traumas, and violence were examined. The experience of analyzing these histories clarified the satisfaction felt by users about the Western system; provided insight into knowledge, attitudes, and practices concerning specific health issues; and moved toward the creation of a “new knowledge” in line with the Mapuche socio-cultural reality.

Conclusions: The collective analysis of clinical histories emerged as a useful method to clarify health concerns in a Mapuche community.

Copyright 2007 University of New Mexico