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There are numerous variations of the definition of health leading to several models attempting to explain it. This essay will explore the medical and social models, and how they are relevant today regarding social factors that influence health.

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Models of Health A model of health is an ideology regarding what health is perceived to be and how it is procured. There are numerous variations of the definition of health leading to several models attempting to explain it. This essay will explore the medical and social models, and how they are relevant today regarding social factors that influence health. The medical model dominated physicians' predilections most of the 20th century (Scriven, 2010). Its mechanistic view of health compares the body to a machine; to be 'fixed' when 'broken'. Its origin lies heavily in the Germ Theory, based on the works of Pasteur and Koch in the 19th century with the idea that every disease is caused by a single identifiable antecedent (Ottewill & Wall, 2006). It focuses on the individual: if they choose to expose themselves to risk factors, consequences must be accepted; leading to a 'victim blaming' scenario which undoubtedly impacts negatively on one's psychological health (Green & Tones, 2010). In late modern society there has been a degree of de-medicalisation in response to this narrow perspective of health. George Engel introduced the social model in 1977 broadening perspectives of health to include biological, psychological and sociological factors (Lakhan, 2006). This produced a comprehensive view of health; becoming more a sense of physical, mental and social well-being rather than simply a lack of disease. ...read more.


Another issue reflecting today's stressed economy and social inequalities is alcoholism. Yet it is the pattern of drinking rather than the amount that causes concern. The habitual binge drinking of 'lower' classes causes this distinction. Deaths from hepatic cirrhosis appear to have doubled recently within the 'lower' class (Reporter, 2011) and according to the NHS Information Centre (2010) alcohol-related deaths have steadily increased from 2001 to 2008 by a total of 24%. One other issue affecting the population is obesity; 1 in 4 adults and almost as many children aged 2 to 15 years old are classed as clinically obese (Bates, N.D.). Obesity is known to increase the chances of many conditions such heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Regarding these social issues it is clear the medical model plays a limited role in addressing these problems, even non-existent concerning unemployment and poor housing since they are not considered medically relevant to health. It seems to value education, but on an individual basis dealing with a certain illness rather than from a societal aspect. Smoking, alcoholism and obesity are recognised as health issues but the focus is more on screening for complications, such as reduced lung capacity, liver damage or fatty deposits around internal organs. When illnesses are identified they are treated either with medication, lifestyle changes or surgery in extreme cases. For example: nicotine patches are provided to aid with smoking cessation, or gastric bypass surgery for the morbidly obese. ...read more.


HSE. (2011). Health and Safety Executive Annual Statistics Report 2010/11. Retrieved November 6, 2011, from Health and Safety Executive: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overall/hssh1011.pdf Lakhan, S. E. (2006, August 3). The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Illness. Retrieved October 26, 2011, from cnx.org: cnx.org/content/m13589/latest/ Marmot, D. (2010). The Marmot Review Executive Summary. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from Fair Society, Healthy Lives: http://www.marmotreview.org/AssetLibrary/Exec%20sum%204.8MB.pdf NHS. (2007, March 20). England Becomes Smokefree 1 July 2007 - Your guide to the new smokefree law. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from HM Government: http://collections.europarchive.org/tna/20110202220654/http://www.smokefreeengland.co.uk/files/guide_to_the_new_smokefree_law_for_businesses.pdf NHS. (2010). Statistics on Alcohol: England, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2011, from NHS, The Information Centre: http://www.ic.nhs.uk/webfiles/publications/alcohol10/Statistics_on_Alcohol_England_2010.pdf Ottewill, R., & Wall, A. (2006). Item 2 Models of Health and Health Care . Retrieved October 4, 2011, from Institute of Healthcare Managment: https://www.ihm.org.uk/documents/Education/mhsc_resource_file/diploma_managing_your_enterprise/Diploma_managing_your_enterprise_models_of_health_and_health_care Reporter, D. M. (2011, January 11). Binge drinking turns alcohol into bigger killer of the working class than the well off, say scientists. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from Mail Online: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1346200/Alcoholic-binge-drinking-bigger-killer-working-class-off.html Scriven, A. (2010). Promoting Health - A Practical Guide (6th Ed). London: Bailliere Tindall Elsevier. Wilkinson, D. (1999). Poor Housing and Ill Health a Summary of Research. Retrieved November 2, 2011, from The Scottish Office Central Research Unit: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/156479/0042008.pdf Willmore, I. (2004, June 9). Smoking: A pleasure or a killer? Smoking and Social Class. Retrieved October 31, 2011, from Media Briefing from ASH: action on smoking and health: http://www.ash.org.uk/media-room/press-releases/smoking-a-pleasure-or-a-killer-smoking-and-social-class ?? ?? ?? ?? Social Issues in Health Care Level 3 Elizabeth Chavez 07/11/2011 1 ...read more.

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