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Readings 2 : The Conceptualization of Health - an article by Larson

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Health Studies
R Song

The Conceptualization of Health Larson Health is not a clear concept as we approach it Health related thinking in USThe old paradigm emphasized disease while the new one emphasizes health functioning and wellbeing Health maybe defined as absence of illness longevity quantitative absence of infirmitiesNEW CONTRIBUTION Way to organize divergent views of health health is conceptualized in formal models Four major models for conceptualizing health are Medical model WHO holistic model Wellness model Environmental modelTHE MEDICAL MODEL health is the absence of disease or disability health was considered a balance and a state of harmony fight against nature to prevent or delay death FBaconprolongation of life as a new task for physicians in addition to the tasks of preserving health and curing disease first scientific paradigm for health originated with the development of the machine model of the human body Bec Of Descartes and exist in practice of medicine today Pascal 16231662whoviewed health in more holistic terms Wood 1986 observes that the medical model distinguishes between disease illness and health Kroeger 1988 presents the basic terminology in simpler terms defining illness as what people perceive and disease as what medical professionals define as a noslogical entityCritics of the medical model point to its limitations Difficulty of adapting it to emotional and psychiatric disorders Deemphasizes preventive medicine and ignores the social causes of disease and social customs in defining disease Culyer 1983 one can be ill without having a disease or one can have a disease without being ill having a disease in a presymptomatic stage have been highly productive in the advancement of the medical sciences and health THE WHO MODEL more holistic approach to health health as a state of complete physical mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity physical mental and socialis a fundamental right of all persons social health of a society may refer to the distribution of economic wealth and to other socioeconomic factors
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