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September 2022

Med Anthropol. 1992 Jan; 13(4): 285-99.

Clinical implications of a folk illness: empacho in mainland Puerto Ricans.

Pachter LM, Bernstein B, Osorio A.

Department of Pediatrics, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, Hartford 06105.

The study of folk illnesses provides insight into client health beliefs and behaviors. This paper describes the expression of empacho in children living in a mainland Puerto Rican community. Etiology, symptom presentation, and treatment options in various health care sectors, as well as an investigation of overlapping folk/biomedical symptom domains are described. Implications regarding health and health care in the multicultural setting are discussed.

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