Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Iatrogenic Conditions

  • Marie Boltz
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_1572



Iatrogenesis refers to any unintended adverse patient outcome due to a health-care intervention not related to the natural course of an illness or injury (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality).


Iatrogenic conditions may be both preventable (e.g., medical error, negligence, consumer decisions) and unpreventable (e.g., the side effects of chemotherapy). The study of iatrogenic conditions has largely been in the acute care hospital. Two Institute of Medicine reports describe the staggering prevalence and ramification of medical errors and elevated patient safety as a major concern in health care and among policymakers. The first report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System estimated that preventable medical errors resulted in 44,000 and 98,000 deaths per year at a cost of up to $29 billion in unnecessary health-care expenses, disability, and lost income (Kohn, Corrigan, & Donaldson, 1999). The second report, Crossi...

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References and Readings

  1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Medical errors and patient safety. htpp://www.ahrq.gov/qual/errorsix.htm Accessed Mar 30, 2012
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of NursingNew York UniversityNew YorkUSA