Four Models of Health

In: Social Issues

Submitted By lyndseymarie11
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Compare and contrast the four main models of health in the Sociology of Health literature, and explain how each of them has influenced our understanding of the concept of health and well-being.
Health is a term that is commonly debated and the definition varies from one profession to another and is a controversial term. The World Health Organisation describes health as:
“A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (WHO, 1948)
This definition was formulated in 1948 and at the time was a breakthrough in the health care sector and was finally seen as a positive definition of health, rather than negative. Most definition concentrated on disease and illness. There are some criticisms that state that the model describes health as a ‘state’ rather than a process and does not put any certain boundaries on what is considered “health”. In healthcare, models are used to diagnose and explain an individual’s health. There are four main models that dominate the health care profession which are the biomedical model, social model, biopsychosocial model and the holistic model. In this essay I will discuss all four models by looking at their advantages and limitations in health care.
The biomedical model is a dominant model of disease in contemporary medicine and was devised by medical scientists for the study of disease. It was created as a scientific model therefor involved a set of scientific assumptions and rules. Biomedicine is the principal way of understanding health and illness. It is widely accepted by the medical profession and also by the non-professional population (Barry, Yuill 2012). The models rapidly became popular in health care approaches over the nineteenth century and focused on biological factors only. It is based on the assumptions about the functioning of the human body and the nature of a…...

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