Consulting with Mild Symptoms in General Practice

  • Jack Ingham
  • Patrick Miller


The act of going to the doctor is an important item of illness behaviour both for the individual and for society. It is important for the individual because upon it depends the likelihood of obtaining satisfactory treatment. Initiated appropriately, it can help to cure illness and save a great deal of time and effort. Initiated inappropriately, it can involve economic loss and, indeed, through the soliciting of unnecessary treatments, can increase the likelihood of iatrogenic illness. From society’s point of view, health services are expensive and there is a clear need to concentrate resources where they are most needed. At the primary care stage, when patients first come under medical surveillance, there is complete dependence upon the individual’s ability to recognise the symptoms of ill health and to be motivated by them to seek treatment.


Mild Symptom Consultation Rate Illness Behaviour Symptom Variable Minor Illness 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jack Ingham
    • 1
  • Patrick Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Research Council Unit for Epidemiological Studies in PsychiatryUniversity Department of PsychiatryEdinburghScotland

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