Chapter 4 notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
International Development Studies
Anne- Emanuelle Birn

Models for understanding Health and Disease Three basic approaches for explaining how health and illness occur Biomedical model - Views health and illness at an individual level - Health is understood in terms of absence of disease rather than as an integrated sense of well being. - It is a curative and preventive approach - Much of the appeal in this approach come from dramatic technological advances in medical treatment over the last century such as surgery. - The biomedical approach will ask the patient to take medical drugs instead of changing his behavior to a healthier one. (Bus Driver example) Behavioral Model -Views health and illness primarily as consequence of individual or household actions and beliefs. -Results either as a reward for healthy living or an outcome for poor lifestyle - Primarily focuses on changing of personal attitudes through education and social counseling in order to achieve desirable health outcomes - According to this approach a patient should make better health choices and take care of the body by taking proper rest instead of getting drugged up (Bus Driver example) Political Economy model -Considers the political, social, cultural and economic contexts in which disease and illness arise -Also examines the ways in which societal structures interact with particular conditions that lead to good or ill health -This approach views health as a function of linked determinants that operate at multiple levels: individual, household, community, workplace, social capital, nation and global political. - These determinants need to addressed in order to improve health conditions, through public policy that improves working conditions, transportation, medical and social care etc. -has the greatest explanatory capacity out of the three models.
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