Promoting Good Health
Health & Social Care AS
Pages 3 - 13
Promoting good health
This unit explores what is good health, the models, the range of lifestyle choices and societal factors which influence health and well-being. Health and well-being are not only affected by an individual’s lifestyle choices (e.g. smoking, eating unhealthy ‘fatty food), but also by societal and environmental issues (e.g. living near a motorway – high pollution levels) Government policies and legislation have an imperative part to play in the promotion of good health, as the introduction on screening programmes (e.g. cervical smear test, antenatal screening etc.); which prevent ill health, has been an incredible and useful tool. Health promoters also have a significant role to play in helping individual’s using services to make the right decision about their health. As their choice of presentation approach can make or damage a health promotion campaign. Further, health promoters need to take into account the presentation methods, and to ensure that they have been chosen well to confirm that the message is successfully put over to the individual to whom it is directed. What is ‘health’?
The Worlds Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity1. However, others may simply define health as the absence of illness, eating balanced diets, or exercising regularly. Consequently, because there are different views on ‘health’, its definition is referred to as ‘biomedical’, ‘positive’, and the social ‘holistic’ approaches. The ‘negative’ view of health
A very common way of defining health is the ‘negative’ concept of health, whereby ‘health’ is defined in terms of absence of illness. Thus, meaning that a person can be considered ‘healthy’ when they are not ‘ill’. This is a negative concept of health, both because it has a limited definition, as it focuses on the physical health status, and pays little attention to behavioral health and ignores social health all together2. More importantly, this concept of health is limited, as it doesn’t identify what health actually is. The Biomedical approach
One mutual way of defining health is the ‘negative’ approach, as ‘health’ is defined in the absence of illness. This approach suggests that an individual can be considered ‘healthy’ when they aren’t ‘ill’ or have any symptoms signifying they have a disease. Members of the medical profession tend to work on the basis that health constitutes the freedom from disease, pain, or defect, thus making the normal human condition "healthy"3. Hence, when a patient tells a biomedical practitioner (doctor) that they feel ‘unwell’, the doctor will carry out observations, examinations and tests to attempt to identify a biomedical abnormality that may be the cause of the patient’s ill health. A biomedical consultant who can’t identify any irregularities, are to believe that the individual being examined is ‘healthy’ as there are no physical signs of illness. Key features of the biomedical model of health are:
Disease is caused by bacteria, virus or genetic factor. Looks for biological process rather than social or emotional process Person is a type of machine. Other aspects of live doesn’t count e.g. living under strain of unemployment wouldn’t be a contributory factor to ill health under this model Deals with illness and ill health instead of promoting good health The ‘Positive’ definition of health
Health-promotion activity aims to promote health improvement by changing behaviour, whereby, health promotions generally adopt a positive approach to ‘health’. Campaigns that encourage people to stop smoking, eat fewer fatty foods and do more exercise are all part of the health improvement approach. These examples are based on the belief that ‘health’ is a positive state...
Bibliography: 4. Benedict M. Ashley, O.P., and Kevin D. O’Rourke, O.P - ‘Ethics of health care’ (3rd edition – 2002) page 55
8. Moonie. M – AS Health and social care (2005) pg. 101
10. ^ Kelley KW, Bluthe RM, Dantzer R, Zhou JH, Shen WH, Johnson RW, Broussard SR (2003). "Cytokine-induced sickness behavior"
21. Walsh. M, Stephens. P, Chaloner. R (2005) ‘Health and social care AS’ pg. 170
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