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Understanding of the Differing Approaches to Health and Ill Health

The concept of health and ill-health, among other related ideas such as sickness and disease, have developed in the entire network of medical images. Being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle helps in preventing long-term illnesses and chronic diseases. This essay will focus on different approaches of health and ill-health regard to Emma’s case study. The paper will define health and ill-health along with the health models,  sociological perspectives, and the factors that impact how individuals perceive ill health.

Definition of Health and Ill Health

McCauley (2020) stated that health is linked to an individual’s daily life as the functions conducted in normal activities demand energy, that occurs from good and stable health. According to McCauley, good health entails the factors of having feeling energetic, strong, and performing activities accordingly to avoid getting worn out and keeping up with normal stress. On the other hand, the WHO defines health as a state of complete mental, physical and social well-being without infirmity and disease. This means that one is socially, mentally, physically, and emotionally fit. The enjoyment has the highest sustainable standard of health. It is among individuals’ most basic rights without variations of religion, race, and political belief, social or economic condition. Considerably, health relies on age, gender, socioeconomic, culture, mental, family relationships, and social factors.

According to Svalastog et al. (2017), ill-health includes mood and behavioral changes that are negatively portrayed. The ill-health of an individual is identified based on physical and mental symptoms. Ill health has a disability and physical, mental, or social problems that don’t necessarily stem from a diagnosed condition. It can refer to the presence of any discomfort and is often used as a broad term for anything that interferes with daily living. Huber et al. (2011) stated that ill health is a status of poor health in which some disability of function or disease exist but not as severe in terms of illness. An acute condition may be considered as an instance of ill health. Sick, therefore health results from a combination of physical, psychological, and social factors. It is not just a medical problem. For instance, Emma has a mental illness that changes her thinking, emotion, and behavior. Mental illness is linked to difficulties functioning and distress in family, social, and work activities. Emma Jones’ life issues, such as behavioral changes, were evident when she failed to follow the surgery instructions and argued with the hospital staff. Emma also shows psychometric illness, which originates from the human mind and can impact all body mechanisms. Emma suffered from depression while other diseases were also developing in her body, such as breast lump. Emma’s disease or illness burden has been linked to stress and mental disorders, which influence their physical functioning.

Models of Ill and health

Biomedical Models of health

The biomedical model of health entails biological and physical aspects of illness and disease and excludes the environmental, psychological, and social influences. Health professionals and doctors use this medical model of care and are linked with diagnosis, treatment, and cure of disease. The Biomedical Model of health enables healthcare providers to understand the physical components that create health and illness. The body has the innate ability to heal itself when given the necessary tools such as nutrition, exercise, and stress management. When the human body is functioning at optimal levels, it exhibits positive physical and mental health characteristics that can be measured. The biomedical model of health states that every function in the body must work together in perfect balance for optimum health outcomes. The biomedical model has also focused on the fact that ill health leads to pathological origin, which requires recovery through the patient’s psychological and physical treatment. This model has lowered the impact of untreatable health conditions. In the case study, the doctor realizes that Emma is late for surgery and does not question her since she discovers her stressful and worrying situation. Emma does not follow the surgery instructions, but the surgeon understands her condition and accepts to accommodate her.

Holistic Model

The holistic model of health is an alternative to the dominant biomedical approach. It emphasizes the importance of lifestyle and the natural environment, rather than just focusing on medicines and drugs to cure diseases. The understanding of wellness is not only limited to eradicating or suppressing one’s illness, but it also involves creating harmony between all aspects of human life, such as body, mind, and spirit. Staying healthy does not simply mean having the non-symptomatic disease; it means more than that, including maintaining optimum physical, mental, and good social rates. The holistic approach means providing support that looks at the individual whole, not just their health needs. This model supports and considers emotional, physical, spiritual, and social well-being. Therefore, this model focuses on the well-being of an individual and not only their condition or illness. To remain well physically, mentally, and emotionally, one must stay active by having a nutrient-rich diet that supplies enough energy for each activity or routine that they do throughout the day. The person should be very much involved with other individuals as socializing and creating solid relationships builds up their self-esteem, and it prevents loneliness which later triggers depression. One should also participate in physical activity such as jogging, swimming, dancing, and so on because staying inactive will only slow them from achieving all their goals during their lifetime.

The importance of the holistic model of health is that it focuses on factors that contribute to good health, rather than concentrating on reversing or curing disease as the exclusive focus of medicine. It provides a model that considers all aspects of life and encourages people to be aware of how their lifestyle affects them physically, mentally, and socially. The holistic approach also helps overcome many barriers between different disciplines; it can integrate information from biology, neuroscience, and epidemiology with each other and provide more realistic explanations of human functioning than has been possible using biomedical methods alone.

Interpretative perspective

This perspective entails the believe that people are engaged in the actiond that facilitate meaning and actions. This perspective has aimed on the illness of an individual( Farre and Rapley, 2017). Ideally, society varies due to reasons such as economic base and lifestyle. Illness is considered as experienced symptoms, assumptions of sick roles as well as seeking help from specialists. Therefore, Emma, who was having the symptoms of breast lump, becomes the day patient due to her condition, which requires a removal surgery. Emma has the fear that her condition will turn into a chronic illness. Additionally, she seeks help from the doctor and comes to the point of being a patient whereby she is fully dependent on the instructions and treatment offered by the doctor.

Symbolic Interactionist Perspective

The Symbolic Interactionist Perspective is a concept that human beings learn how to function in society through social interactions, and they interpret these social interactions as symbols. The Symbolic Interaction Model of the Society is grounded on three basic assumptions: Human behavior can only be understood as it occurs within a time frame which includes reference both to its succession from and continuity with the actor’s experience; There are no restrictions on human action other than those self-imposed; thus, everything that happens is interpreted by the actor as meaningful; The actor possesses a unique consciousness which limits both his comprehension his actions and their effects upon others (Farre and Rapley, 2017). The symbolic Interaction Model of Society assumes that human society is composed of people who can act upon symbols to create meaning for themselves. These symbols are used to give meanings for social interactions, which are used to guide their behavior. The model also perceives society as a playing stage where individuals perform parts according to their interpretation of the situation they face. This model has three participants: the actor, the audience, and the individual being acted upon. The audience observes this performance and interprets it based on how they sexually orient themselves. These social interactions create a society that people organize based on their experiences and interpretations of symbols. For this case, the cause of Miss Emma’s stress is the bad experience she has encountered in her life. She was divorced and looked after four children, which has impacted her psychological and mental wellness.

Lay Perspective

The lay perspective of illness and health is used by communities, individuals, and cultures to explain how to offer explanations of illness and maintain health. This perspective has focused on the common reasons and processes of getting illness and its impacts on health. These factors include beliefs, preferences, age, and gender realities that lead to the causes of illness and health (Farre and Rapley, 2017). For instance, Emma’s belief that the breast lump would lead to cancer or a chronic illness strongly affected the decision that she would take on the surgery. Emma was left alone to take care of her children after the divorce, which greatly affected the well-being of most females in society.

Factors that influence how people react to Ill health

Different factors affect how people react to illness, some are biological factors, and others are psychological. Physical factors include gender, age, life history, genetics/heredity, and family history within the same illness category. Psychological factors can be many things that have an effect on how you think or behave by causing pain without actually being physically present in the body, for example, anxiety or stress. The most obvious biological factor is age. Age can affect how people behave when they are ill because younger children are usually not as calm about being ill compared to adults who can manage pain better due to experience dealing with illness. The beliefs of an individual about health also impact their health reactions. For instance, some people feel ashamed of being associated with a certain kind of illness that affects their mental and psychological wellness, worsening their medical condition. Emma’s belief about her condition and life stress has impacted their medical condition. For instance, she is worried about who will take care of her children. Her reaction and belief about her condition have affected her behavior.


Health is an essential aspect of human health, and People react differently to illness which impacts their recovery processes. The perspectives of an individual towards health and ill health effect their well-being. The health-illness perception of individuals is based on varying factors that require to be understood and analyzed. Treatment of an individual should include their physical and mental wellness since they influence their recovery process.

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Understanding of the Differing Approaches to Health and Ill Health . (2022, June 15). Essay Writing . Retrieved March 31, 2023, from https://www.essay-writing.com/samples/understanding-of-the-differing-approaches-to-health-and-ill-health/
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Understanding of the Differing Approaches to Health and Ill Health [Internet]. Essay Writing . 2022 Jun 15 [cited 2023 Mar 31]. Available from: https://www.essay-writing.com/samples/understanding-of-the-differing-approaches-to-health-and-ill-health/
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