• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the main attributes of both the biomedical and social models of health. There are a number of ways in which health can be defined, some argue that to be healthy you must

Extracts from this document...


Describe the main attributes of both the biomedical and social models of health. There are a number of ways in which health can be defined, some argue that to be healthy you must be free from any form of disease or abnormality others state to be healthy depends on your biopsychosocial approach, your ability to satisfy the demands of life, your health as a result of your past, your lifecycle, your culture and also your personal responsibility. However in 1946 the World Health Organisation (WHO) defined health as .............. "Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity... is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.... and is dependant upon the fullest co-operation of individuals and States. Governments have a responsibility for the health of their peoples which can be fulfilled only by the provision of adequate health and social measures." www.who.org This definition by WHO is recognised worldwide, but it doesn't mean that it is right and everyone must agree with it, as the biomedical model states that illness is always due to abnormalities in the body's functioning, and to be healthy one must be free from disease. ...read more.


Yet the biomedical model does not differentiate between illness and heath and suggests that if you are not ill you are healthy. This doesn't encourage or promote healthy lifestyles in people, as one might think that if they are smoking, drinking excessively, not exercising and eating a high fat diet and don't feel ill then it is fine to continue with these bad habits, when in-fact this is untrue. Blaxter, M (2004) Health As well as the biological factors that might result in one becoming unwell there are also social factors that can be linked. This isn't really surprising to think that individuals with restricted housing, transport, education, income and employment opportunities, are at greater risk of ill health than those who are relatively better off. Societies are quite often divided into different cultural, religious, and economic groups and it is apparent that certain diseases are more prevalent among some members of a community than others. Even our lifespan is determined by social factors as well as predetermined genetic factors. The social model of health takes an all round holistic approach to health and it incorporates many differences of importance, though it doesn't recognise that social factors such as poverty have to be included in a model of the causes of ill health. ...read more.


A social model of health looks at how community infrastructure is critical in preventing ill health and in creating socially good health outcomes for all members of society. Blaxter, M (2004) Health Using the same example used to show the biomedical model of health, lung cancer, may be described by the social model as being caused by; a culture of unhealthy eating or smoking, a family situation where others smoke causing passive smoking, a hereditary disposition to the disease and the patient themselves smoking. From looking closely at both the biomedical and social models of health it is clear that the social model takes a more holistic approach to health by looking at ones life and lifestyle, and by not automatically taking medication but instead looking into the causes and factors that lead to the illness unlike the biomedical model, which focuses mainly on the functioning of the body parts, and a direct cause of one feeling unwell. Reference List Annandale, E. (1998) The Sociology of Health Medicine Cambridge, Polity Blaxter, M. (2004) Health Cambridge, Polity Hardey, M (1998) The Social Context of Health Buckingham, Open University Press www.who.org Accessed 20th Oct, 2005 ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Selina Mc Kinney ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Healthcare essays

  1. What are the main challenges faced by mature students studying Healthcare courses in Higher ...

    In view of the papers aims a qualitative approach is entirely suitable. Purposive sampling was employed, This involves selecting participants that the researcher thinks will deliver a depth and richness of information directly relevant to the research question. (Johnson and Waterfield 2004)

  2. Concepts of health disease and illness.

    However what is apparently normal for one individual may not be for another, or for the same person at a different age or under different circumstances. This makes it difficult to designate cut-off points between normality and abnormality, "test" such as for blood pressure.

  1. The Effectiveness of Brief Interventions in Reducing Binge

    There are probably several times as many alcohol-damaged children who have non-specific symptoms of intellectual impairment and behavioural deficits. Where arguments could have arisen, claiming that alcohol at a young age is acceptable because the body can deal with it, Zeigler et al.

  2. The aim of this study was to investigate the health and nutritional status of ...

    in area 4 (Table 3.4). A Kruskal-Wallis test compared weight, height, BMI, waist and MUAC between the different neighbourhoods. There was no significance for BMI (p 0.975), MUAC (p 0.819) and waist measurement (p 0.056). Although waist circumference was not significant it may signify a trend between different areas.

  1. Interprofessional working in mental health

    Whilst Ovretveit et al (1997) define inter-professional working as goal orientated e.g. achieving a positive outcome for a patient e.g. independent living. This is too simplistic a definition as it fails to take account of different agency agendas and the problems that result.

  2. Ethnicity & Health

    in which, the principal causes of disproportionate delivery of health care services can still affect other health issues such as Cancer, Diabetic, Infant Maternal Mortality, Post Natal Care, Organ donation and Transplant , Ageing and a wide range of specialist treatments.

  1. In Spite of its successes the biomedical model has been criticised. Why? Include examples ...

    In a recent study by Pinder on how people experienced living with chronic illness, particularly Parkinson's Disease (PD), she identified that PD sufferers actively seek to achieve control over their lives in order to maintain some sort of normality not only for themselves but for those around them.

  2. How is illness socially constructed?

    With the introduction of hospitals alternative perspectives of illness i.e. religious and spiritual explanations, were taken over and the medical model sustained dominance. Soon Social policy was enforced to ensure medical training which brought forth the heir archy of medical professionals, which were mainly men.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work