The burden of sickness is having to live with it in the world of the healthy. Over the past 20 years the study of illness via the patients experience has emerged as the dominant approach to understanding sickness and health in general. Worlds of Illness examines peoples experience of illness, their understanding of what it means to be healthy, and illuminates the different worlds of the sick and the healthy. The contributors are the first to offer an approach which stresses the biographical and cultural contexts in which illness arises and how it is borne by patients and those who care for them. This book is an important contribution to ongoing debates in medical sociology and to health psychology at a time when it is emerging as an active area of research.