Health and Illness


  • As defined by the World Health Organization (WHO): state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
  1. A concern for the individual as a total system
  2. A view of health that identifies internal and external environment
  3. An acknowledgment of the importance of an individual’s role in life

*A dynamic state in which the individual adapts to changes in internal and external environment to maintain a state of well being

Models of Health and Illness

1. Health-Illness Continuum (Neuman) – Degree of client wellness that exists at any point in time, ranging from an optimal wellnesscondition, with available energy at its maximum, to death which represents total energy depletion.

2. High – Level Wellness Model (Halbert Dunn) – It is oriented toward maximizing the health potential of an individual.This model requires the individual to maintain a continuum of balance and purposeful direction within the environment.

3. Agent – Host – environment Model (Leavell) – The level of health of an individual or group depends on the dynamic relationship of the agent, host and environment

  • Agent – any internal or external factor that disease or illness.
  • Host – the person or persons who may be susceptible to a particular illness or disease
  • Environment – consists of all factors outside of the host

4. Health – Belief Model – Addresses the relationship between a person’s belief and behaviors. It provides a way of understanding and predicting how clients will behave in relation to their health and how they will comply with health care therapies.

Four Components

  • The individual is perception of susceptibility to an illness
  • The individual’s perception of the seriousness of the illness
  • The perceived threat of a disease
  • The perceived benefits of taking the necessary preventive measures

5. Evolutionary – Based Model – Illness and death serves as a evolutionary function. Evolutionary viability reflects the extent to which individual’s function to promote survival and well-being. The model interrelates the following elements:

  • Life events
  • Life style determinants
  • Evolutionary viability within the social context
  • Control perceptions
  • Viability emotions
  • Health outcomes

6. Health Promotion Model – A “complimentary counterpart models of health protection”. Directed at increasing a client’s level of well being. Explain the reason for client’s participation health-promotion behaviors. The model focuses on three functions:

  • It identifies factors (demographic and socially) enhance or decrease the participation in health promotion
  • It organizes cues into pattern to explain likelihood of a client’s participation health-promotion behaviors
  • It explains the reasons that individuals engage in health activities
  • State in which a person’s physical, emotional, intellectual, social developmental or spiritual functioning is diminished or impaired. It is a condition characterized by a deviation from a normal, healthy state.
3 Stages of Illness
  1. Stage of Denial – Refusal to acknowledge illness; anxiety, fear, irritability and aggressiveness.
  2. Stage of Acceptance – Turns to professional help for assistance
  3. Stage of Recovery (Rehabilitation or Convalescence) – The patient goes through of resolving loss or impairment of function
  1. A dynamic, health oriented process that assists individual who is ill or disabled to achieve his greatest possible level of physical, mental, spiritual, social and economical functioning.
  2. Abilities not disabilities are emphasized.
  3. Begins during initial contact with the patient
  4. Emphasis is on restoring the patient to independence or regain his pre-illness/predisability level of function as short a time as possible
  5. Patient must be an active participant in the rehabilitation goal setting an din rehabilitation process.
Focuses of Rehabilitation
  1. Coping pattern
  2. Functional ability – focuses on self-care: activities of daily living (ADL); feeding, bathing/hygiene, dressing/grooming, toileting and mobility
  3. Mobility
  4. Integrity of skin
  5. Control of bowel and bladder function


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