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DEVELOPMENTS and RESEARCH on AGING : An International Handbook


Geriatrie medicine in the 700-year-old Swiss confederation has a relatively short past, but yet is extremely important in the global evolution of this discipline. ActuaIly, two outstanding physicians have contributed to the development of geriatries in Switzerland: F. Verzar (1886-1979) and J. P. Junod (1930-1985). F. Verzar was the first to state the principles and to emphasize the necessity of fundamental research in gerontology (Verzar, 1977). Later, J. P. Junod devel- oped a comprehensive new approach for care based on the bio-psycho-social, environmental, cultural, and emotional features of the elderly patient; this concept requires the multidisciplinary collaboration of health professionals trained in complementary specialities (Martin & Junod, 1983).

What then remains in 1991 of the geriatrie work of these two Swiss pioneers? The answer lies in the appraisal of the health systems, their dynamics, constraints, and outcomes. It also rests on the inventory of clinical and fundamental researches recently carried out in Switzerland, as weIl as on the review of programs of acti vities in gerontology.