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Categories : Health , health services


The meaning of health has evolved over time. In keeping with the biomedical perspective, early definitions of health focused on the theme of the body’s ability to function; health was seen as a state of normal function that could be disrupted from time to time by disease. 

This definition emphasized the body’s ability to heal itself and to regenerate tissue. Many concepts of health emerged in the early 20th century, with a significant shift in focus from the body to the mind and life and its pursuit and maintenance. During this era, the term “clinical death” entered medicine, and the concept of health shifted from being a purely biological concept to being about personal and societal well being. It was during this time that modern medicine began to focus on disease prevention and management. 

As well as new forms of human therapy such as psychotherapy and social work. The first modern term for health came from Sir John Charnley who in 1896 coined the term “malady” for what he termed “diseases of the body.” However, the term disease as Charnley and others used it did not include mental disorders.

Health is usually defined as “a state of physical well-being and/or mental and social well-being.” It has been defined as “a state of physical, mental, and social well-being occurring to all those who are capable of making decisions, irrespective of age, or any stage of life.”In this definition, the definition is of a state of human well-being, specifically that which may be achieved through adequate care and treatment for bodily and mental states. 

There are three main pillars in health promotion: addressing social determinants, addressing environmental determinants, and addressing individual-level determinants. The Social Determinants Model and the Five Ds model are popular tools used to assess health at the individual level.

Identifying and addressing environmental determinants requires a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach to evaluating a community. According to Robert North, the general approach to assessment of the community that is used is to identify and manage risk factors as well as the desirable health outcomes. These include factors such as a predisposition to disease, availability of the disease or drugs, technology, public policies, and community-level issues.The United States has seen the implementation of multiple strategies for addressing the social determinants of health. These include public policies and government health campaigns such as the Healthy People 2020. These programs have an important role in public health, and are effective in improving public health.

According to Daniel Hawkins, who conducts large-scale analyses of the United States, there are six main ways that the social determinants of health affect health. These six ways are housing, income, employment, education, access to healthy food and the socio-economic status of neighborhoods.[37]

Health and well-being

This is a way of knowing that is related to mental and emotional states, which are interconnected and influenced by psychological, social, and biological factors. It can be used to describe subjective well-being as a state of being good or better, whereas one may be ill. A person may be ‘lucky’ and be able to be ‘well’ from one day to the next and have good ‘health.’ It may also refer to physical well-being, such as the ability to move and sustain physical activity.

Intentional well-being, or purpose in life, is the psychological and emotional state of being fulfilled in life, and of having a positive outlook on life. A person can be happy in life, but may not necessarily be happy with their circumstances or circumstances around them.

While a person may be healthy, physically able, and mentally sound, they may not feel well being depressed, a physically or mentally disabled, or having issues with pain or disease in their body. Many mental disorders are very difficult to treat and can cause significant suffering and negative consequences to a person