- Is a personal state in which the person feels unhealthy.
- Illness is a state in which a person’s physical, emotional, intellectual, social, developmental, or spiritual functioning is diminished or impaired compared with previous experience.
- Illness is not synonymous with disease.
- An alteration in body function resulting in reduction of capacities or a shortening of the normal life span.
Common Causes of Disease
- Biologic agent – e.g. microorganism
- Inherited genetic defects – e.g. cleft palate
- Developmental defects – e.g. imperforate anus
- Physical agents – e.g. radiation, hot and cold substances, ultraviolet rays
- Chemical agents – e.g. lead, asbestos, carbon monoxide
- Tissue response to irritations/injury – e.g. inflammation, fever
- Faulty chemical/metabolic process – e.g. inadequate insulin in diabetes
- Emotional/physical reaction to stress – e.g. fear, anxiety
Stages of Illness
- Symptoms Experience– experience some symptoms, person believes something is wrong 3 aspects –physical, cognitive, emotional
- Assumption of Sick Role – acceptance of illness, seeks advice
- Medical Care Contact– Seeks advice to professionals for validation of real illness, explanation of symptoms, reassurance or predict of outcome
- Dependent Patient Role
- The person becomes a client dependent on the health professional for help.
- Accepts/rejects health professional’s suggestions.
- Becomes more passive and accepting.
- Recovery/Rehabilitation – Gives up the sick role and returns to former roles and functions.
Risk Factors of a Disease
- Genetic and Physiological Factors
- For example, a person with a family history of diabetes mellitus, is at risk in developing the disease later in life.
- Age increases and decreases susceptibility ( risk of heart diseases increases with age for both sexes
- The physical environment in which a person works or lives can increase the likelihood that certain illnesses will occur.
- Lifestyle practices and behaviors can also have positive or negative effects on health.
Classification of Diseases
1. According to Etiologic Factors
- Hereditary – due to defect in the genes of one or other parent which is transmitted to the offspring
- Congenital – due to a defect in the development, hereditary factors, or prenatal infection
- Metabolic – due to disturbances or abnormality in the intricate processes of metabolism.
- Deficiency – results from inadequate intake or absorption of essential dietary factor.
- Traumatic– due to injury
- Allergic – due to abnormal response of the body to chemical and protein substances or to physical stimuli.
- Neoplastic – due to abnormal or uncontrolled growth of cell.
- Idiopathic –Cause is unknown; self-originated; of spontaneous origin
- Degenerative –Results from the degenerative changes that occur in the tissue and organs.
- Latrogenic – result from the treatment of the disease
2. According to Duration or Onset
- Acute Illness – An acute illness usually has a short duration and is severe. Signs and symptoms appear abruptly, intense and often subside after a relatively short period.
- Chronic Illness – chronic illness usually longer than 6 months, and can also affects functioning in any dimension. The client may fluctuate between maximal functioning and serious relapses and may be life threatening. Is characterized by remission and exacerbation.
- Remission– periods during which the disease is controlled and symptoms are not obvious.
- Exacerbations – The disease becomes more active given again at a future time, with recurrence of pronounced symptoms.
- Sub-Acute – Symptoms are pronounced but more prolonged than the acute disease.
3. Disease may also be Described as:
- Organic – results from changes in the normal structure, from recognizable anatomical changes in an organ or tissue of the body.
- Functional – no anatomical changes are observed to account from the symptoms present, may result from abnormal response to stimuli.
- Occupational – Results from factors associated with the occupation engage in by the patient.
- Venereal – usually acquired through sexual relation
- Familial – occurs in several individuals of the same family
- Epidemic – attacks a large number of individuals in the community at the same time. (E.g. SARS)
- Endemic – Presents more or less continuously or recurs in a community. (E.g. malaria, goiter)
- Pandemic –An epidemic which is extremely widespread involving an entire country or continent.
- Sporadic – a disease in which only occasional cases occur. (E.g. dengue, leptospirosis)