Using Trevor’s and Dahlia’s Accounts from Activity 2.3 in Learning Guide 2, Describe How the Biomedical, and Social Models of Health, Might Inform Different Approaches to Improving or Maintaining Trevor’s Quality of Life .

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In order to answer this question, I am firstly going to describe, in detail, the Biomedical and Social Models of Health. The 2 approaches are very different, and from a caring perspective, are both as important as one another when putting a care plan in place for service users such as Trevor .

Models of illness are used to analyse how illness arises and to predict what treatment might be effective.; Most models are implicit and not formally described.In the context of health and illness, a model will specify what factors are of importance in determining whether a person is ill, (and conversely, by implication, what factors are not relevant). It will also specify the nature of the interrelationships between these factors and being ill (Wade, 2009 )

I will begin by talking about the Biomedical Model of Health . This model is considered to be the epitome of scientific, objective and reproducible medications. The main features of this model, are that health is ‘absence of disease’ and being ‘functionally fit’ . Doctors and specialists can diagnose, treat and cure. They can explain the disease or illness, within a biological network and this emphases the nature of the disease. The Biological Model provides diagnostic categories, provides an easy identifiable structure, provides effective treatment and produces experts who highly specialise in their field (The Open University, 2012)

The biomedical model, which primarily assumes that all illness arise from within the body and is caused by an initial dysfunction of a part of the body, is the current dominant model of illness. However, Biomedicine is criticised for omitting things such as lifestyle behaviours, individual needs and social support/choice. These are things that impact individual experience on Health & Social Care .

I will now discuss the Social Model of Health. This model focuses on the social distribution of health and illness, i.e., death rates can vary greatly between social classes . This model tends to take a preventative approach and would mainly interest in the environmental and social causes of ill-health .

Recently doctors have begun to acknowledge the importance of social influences on health, i.e., stress factors and lifestyle. ‘Good Health’ is now recognised as ‘merely an absence of a disease’. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines it as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing’(K217, Block 1, p.28).

Sociologists use the term ‘illness’ to describe individual subjective experience of ‘feeling unwell’. The term sickness refers to social status, which is defined professionally, i.e., by a doctor who issues a sick note, while disease is a term to describe a biological malfunction (Stow AC Social science)

In order to answer this question I need to explain what factors, from both models, with help to improve Trevor’s quality of life.Using evidence from course material I will talk about quality of life and wellbeing, in relation to Health and Social Care. From a clinical perspective (Biomedical), wellbeing is defined as the absence of negative conditions. From a psychological perspective (Social), wellbeing is defined as the prevalence of positive attributes. (Barwais 2011).

Quality of life is measured in terms of life expectancy, health and social problems, levels of income, number of social contacts, and participation in education and employment (Doyal and Gough 1991 ).

Holism and the Biomedical Model go hand in hand. It allows a complete a ‘whole’ or complete picture of one’s health and illness. Holism recognises many different factors that have an impact on individual health and illness. This means the individual themselves, are central to their ‘whole’ wellbeing. This includes their health, their personal choices, and recognising their own identities. Using this approach to health and social care physicians can combine all aspects of the individual, i.e., their physical, mental and emotional ‘health’...
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