Recent criticisms of the thesis of medicalisation focusing at the level of doctor-patient interaction have suggested that patient dependency on or addiction to modern scientific medicine and in particular medical scientific technology is overstated. However, empirical research to examine this is difficult to find. The study presented here throws some light on this issue as it looks at women's beliefs and feelings about breast screening and breast self-examination and the prospect of attending for breast screening or a class which teaches BSE. The results show that the generalised concept of patient dependence is limited although there was more support for women's dependence on medical technology than choosing to be directly responsible for identifying abnormalities themselves and managing them. © 1984.
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