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Chapter 1

Chapter 1 An Interdisciplinary View of Health.docx

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Psychology 2036A/B
Sarah Khan

Chapter 1 An Interdisciplinary View of Health  Health defined by: - Physiological state: a person’s ability to physically perform his or her daily functions without limitations, restrictions or impediments o Belief that an individual’s health is defined by the presence or absence of disease, dysfunction, or other abnormal biological changes in the body - Holistic state: influenced by physiological, psychological, emotional and social factors o Health is defined not only by a person’s physical functional status, but also by their attitude about the illness and their overall mental and emotional state Determinants of health – factors that influence health outcomes - Some are universal, while others are specific to a culture or time - 5 principal determinants of heath: o Individual physiology and behaviours o Family and cultural traditions o Physical environmental conditions o Health systems o Health policies Section 1. A Brief History of Health Health Practices in Early Civilization Understanding Health through Health Policy - Health policy: regulations that promote or protect the health of communities - Water, drainage and sewer systems are examples of infrastructure constructed usually as a result of a policy issued by a ruler or other governing authorities charged with protecting the water supply for its citizens - i.e. Drainage and supply systems in ancient Egyptian and Indian civilizations Understanding Health through Philosophy and Medicine - Hippocrates – credited with proposing an association between the mind and the body that affects health; humoral theory - Egyptians were the first to link emotional and physiological health o Mummification process showed sophisticated knowledge of body and circulatory system o Egyptian culture – health is influenced by anatomical systems and scientific and spiritual beliefs - Daoist philosophy (ancient Chinese civilizations) o Harmonic balance of yin and yang, the environment, and the energy or life force (Qi – “chi”) are essential determinants of health - Aesculapian theory o Illness has spiritual origins and require spiritual intervention, ritual curses and meditation by priests - Cnidian theory o Illness is associated with physical diseases and unrelated to mental, spiritual or emotional well-being Understanding Health through Pharmacology - Knowledge of health through botany - Material medica – medicinal properties of plants Understanding Health through Religion - Spirituality included as one of several factors that contribute to health - Beliefs about spirituality, religion and their impact on health are well documented in Egyptian, Islamic, Pre-Columbian, African, and North American cultures - Religion has shaped the concept of health in Western European cultures - During the Middle Ages, population decline occurred from pandemics – communicable diseases that affected large numbers of people across a geographic region o 1 and 2 plagues of Justinian – death of millions - Plagues were caused by bacterial infection – many people embraced the view that the plague and other disease were caused by demons - Sickness was seen as a sign of God’s punishment for the sins committed by the sufferers - The Church became responsible for healing the spiritual afflictions that were thought to be the source of the disease - Near the end of the Middle Ages, Europe suffered the haemorrhagic plague – “Black Death” o Killed 1/3 of Europe’s population in 2 years – 25 million deaths o The plague struck Europe on the brink of the Renaissance age – belief moved away from illness as a spiritual punishment and focus returned to the science o Scholars during Renaissance suggested that diseases were the result of environmental factors Health Practices in the United States - The Renaissance brought a period of exploration – in the process, contracted or brought back contagious diseases - Some contagious disease could decimate the entire population of a region - Health policies were important determinants of health outcomes for individuals and communities Section I Summary - Cultures establishes systems, built infrastructures, and made used of natural resources (plants and herbs) to protect and enhance the health of their citizens - Beliefs about health differed between cultures and time period - Discoveries in medical sciences (i.e. anatomy) advanced our understanding of epidemiology (the study of the origins and spread of disease) - Health policies have played a critical role in changing the environmental conditions that affect individual health status Section II. Defining Health Today Early Holistic Concepts Mind-Body Connection and Health - Current concepts of health have much in common with the holistic perspectives suggested by earlier cultures - Psychologists have contributed to the current evolution in the definition of health – Sigmund Freud (“Father of psychoanalytic psychology” - Freud proposed that physiological illnesses can have psychological issues – relationship between mind and body and its effects on health outcomes o Lead to development of psychosomatic medicine – examines the relationship between physiological, psychological, social and behavioural influences on an individual’s health status World Health Organization Model of Health - 1948: health is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity” - WHO’s definition includes emotional and mental health as well as factors in overall well- being Models of Health and Well-Being Biomedical Model th - Late 19 century (1880s) marked the return to the theory that germs were the cause of diseases - Robert Koch – 1 to be credited with discovering that specific bacteria can be linked to specific diseases o Koch’s work led to the development of the biomedical model - Biomedical model – illness is defined as a dysfunction of the body caused by microorganisms and resulting in illness or disability - Association between bacteria and disease placed a greater emphasis on physiological factors as the principal determinant of health - The biomedical model’s emphasis on physical causes of illness overlooks the critical contributions of emotional, social and environmental factors in health Biopsychosocial Model - Engel – suggested that biological (bio) factors, psychological (psycho) influences (emotions, social support, and personal traits), and sociological (social) factors (family, culture, community) strongly affect overall well-being and health outcomes - Research on the relationship between stress and illness offers some of the clearest evidence of the association between emotional (stress) factors and adverse physiological outcomes o Rabin: emotions such as stress have an impact on physiological health by affecting the immune system and by influencing health behaviours - Recent studies also report and association between other emotions, such as depression and heart disease - Some researchers even draw conclusions among depression, heart disease, and death - The b
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