Continents and Classifications: European Instruction of American Medical Nomenclature

Douglas L. Anderton, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Susan Hautaniemi Leonard, University of Michigan
Jeffrey K Beemer, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Alan C. Swedlund, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

This paper presents an analysis of European influence on American Medical Nomenclature through examining early guidelines in the International Classification of Disease (ICD). For correctives addressing major cause of death reporting categories, or with particular historical interest for evolving medical histories, we provide a qualitative analysis of the ICD and a brief archival history of the prior use of terms addressed by each of these correctives in Northampton and Holyoke, Massachusetts. We conduct a quantitative interrupted time-series design analysis of trends in targeted nomenclature to evaluate the impact of ICD correctives on practical use of nosological nomenclature. We then examine the evidence for marked immediate changes in terminology, shifts in the direction of terminological growth, and more gradual innovation and diffusion models for targeted nomenclature. Finally, we provide preliminary models indicating the extent to which ICD correctives influenced major cause of death groupings relevant to theories of the epidemiological transition.

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Presented in Session 84: Historical Demography