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Maintaining Positive Health And Wellness Through Illness Reduction

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Question:

Discuss about the Maintaining Positive Health And Wellness Through Illness Reduction?

 

Answer:

The high prevalence of diseases and illnesses has negatively impacted the society both clinically and economically. Evidence of increase in cases of cancer, heart failure, multiple organ dysfunctioning, swine flu, premature aging, etc. have shown that focus needs to shift from conventional treatment procedure to the elucidation of skills and techniques to support good health practices. Health and wellness promotion not just paves the way for minimizing illnesses but increases the wellbeing of a community, country and eventually the whole globe. Along with an individual, the role of entire society and healthcare providers is crucial in making a community healthy. In the current scenario, most of the illnesses and health related issues are owed to unhealthy practices in society such as neglecting patients with a particular disease, especially communicable and mental illnesses, and economically weaker sections or discrimination by race. Thus, it affects psychological health of a person which further causes stress and ultimately disorders. Moreover, neglecting fitness and unhealthy lifestyle add up to the health related concerns. Therefore, it has become a necessity today to educate people about individual and community health and wellness. Various strategies and models are being adopted by healthcare and corporate sectors to help individuals manage their health behaviors for prevention of some of the common chronic illnesses. The present essay focuses on maintaining an individual’s physical, mental and social health and how it results in an overall well-being with the achievement of health-related goals.

Background

As per the definition provided by WHO (World Health Organization), the state of being healthy is not just an absence of disease, but the overall physical, social and psychological wellbeing of a person. Whereas regardless of the current state of health, wellness is the condition in which a person delivers his/her maximum potential possible in given environmental conditions. Illness is a state of health which might not be related directly to the presence of a disease but a feeling of being sick or any lesion or disorder that affects a person’s physical and mental wellbeing, and hence being healthy or ill revolves around their personal satisfaction. There are various determinants including income and social status, personal health practices, biology, gender, culture and physical environment contributing to the social, biological and psychological health of an individual. Biological variables such as the genetic makeup, age, sex, and ethnicity are some of the major deciders of health and severity of a disorder, and hence affect the biological perspective of health (Health, Wellness and illness 2008). Majorly, health is perceived by biological conditions only and not taking into account the lifestyle factors such as smoking or alcohol use, for example, older persons are considered unhealthy in spite of lacking any symptoms for a disease. Although most of diseases including heart and neurological problems are common in older groups while onset of breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer are dependent on the gender, but perceiving health in that context only can be a false interpretation (Mishra, Yadav & Rani 2015). Additionally, societal perspective is the responsibility that a community plays with regard to a disease or illness, by providing care, support, empathy, concern, and encouragement to the patients. It depends on how a community responses to a prevailing illness and helps in getting rid of that. The societal perspective, especially in the case of mental illnesses or chronic transmissible diseases, hugely affects the healthcare system. Hence, the behavior of a community having detrimental effects on health should be changed. Furthermore, the psychological perspective is majorly about how an individual perceives about his/her health, and therefore it varies from the risk and control associated with the patient. A person’s concept of health affects their health outcomes, wherein those with a positive outlook for their treatment recover faster as compared to the one with pessimistic attitude (Murdoch 2014). Together these three perspectives (biological, societal and psychological) help in measuring health risk and severity of an illness.

Promoting wellness in health and illness.

Health promotion requires an extended support from the community in addition to the healthcare providers, nurses, and individuals themselves. There is a need for bringing about a change in the positive direction in health determinants by enhancing health-related skills of individuals and communities. Health and wellness are two very closely related terms, with the former being a resource of the latter one. A healthy person is more capable of maximizing their potential and fulfilling their expectations, making wellness a subjective measure of being healthy (Byock 2009; Travis & Ryan 2004). On the other hand, for promoting health and wellness, it is necessary to have a sound and healthy community by efficient public health management system. In diseases like AIDS, societal perspective is still backward in most of the countries, wherein the patients are isolated and looked down upon by the society, naïve about the disease. Being a life threatening disease with seldom any good treatment in the developing countries, it requires support from people around for the patient to have strength to fight the disease back for their life, but due to the abandonment by their society they remain deprived of the care and treatment that they deserve. Hence, strategies for enhancing interpersonal and situational influences through community interactions and education are incorporated in the health promotion models (Compton 2005). From the biological perspective of health, women especially those above 50, are more prone to breast cancer as compared to males. Hence, following health promotion models women above 50 can be recommended and encouraged to undergo mammography and regular checkups so as to prevent and detect cancer in early stages. Moreover, as a primary prevention, younger women can also be suggested to change their lifestyles such as the habit of smoking, drinking, use of oral contraceptives or obesity (Mishra et al. 2015).

Workplace wellness programs and school health services in addition to community health camps are commonly adopted by companies, institutes, and community services respectively for improving health and wellbeing of a population. In enhancing health promotion, client-centered health and wellness coaching are being provided to individuals and groups for achieving self-determined fitness goals. Studies show the positive impact of these coaching in treatment outcomes of persons with diabetes, heart problems, cancer or obesity (Wolever et al. 2013; Becker & McPeck 2013).

 

Health theories and models. Various theories and models help explaining and promoting the phenomena of health, wellness and illness. The essay discusses some of these theories that further explain the concept from the social and psychological point of view.

Travis’ illness-wellness continuum. This theory explains the relation of illness and wellness with an arrow, where wellness and illness are two opposite ends of the continuum, separated by several stages of health, from good health to death. While going from right to left in the continuum, a person moves from being healthy as a result of proper awareness and education of individuals and communities to a progressively decreasing health with increasing signs of illness and further disability. Placement of persons in the continuum also depends on how they and their community perceive them. Nurses play a major role in maintaining the continuum in positive side by educating and training individuals and communities about specific health related issues. For example, persons with hypertension having smoking and drinking habits, can move towards the negative side however by changing their lifestyle and quitting smoking and drinking, losing weight, performing yoga and exercises  they can achieve complete health and wellness (Butterworth, Linden & McClay 2007). Thus, with educating the community, nurses and coaches impact the society in a positive way.

Dunn’s high-level wellness and grid model. With the application of X- and Y-axis, this model has four quadrants illustrating the potential maximization of an individual in an environment where they are functioning for the achievement of high-level wellness (Dunn 1959). It focuses on how a person participates and performs in a constantly changing environment. Each quadrant illustrates the following:

Quadrant 1: High-level of wellness in a favorable environment.

Quadrant 2: Poor health in a favorable environment.

Quadrant 3: Poor health in an unfavorable environment.

Quadrant 4: High-level wellness in an unfavorable environment.

Health Belief Model by Rosenstock: The model depends on the psychological perception of a person i.e. how positive, negative or motivated the patient is for their recovery. Studies on mental health show that positive illusions about one’s life are beneficial for mental health. However, those with realistic views and not confident about their health and treatment worsen their mental health (Taylor & Brown 1988). Additionally, in the stages of clinical trials of any drug have volunteers divided into groups, where the control group uses a placebo and the other group is provided with the innovator compound, but none of the groups is disclosed what they are administered. The reason behind these blindfolded studies is the perception of patients, which can alter the results. Though on placebos, in most of the clinical studies patients in control group show positive outcome as a consequence of their perceived benefits and in contrast to this, patients with perceived susceptibility and seriousness show negative results in the treatment group (Miller & kaptchuk 2004).

Conclusion. The busy life of people has left little time for personal care, which is showing its consequence on their health and wellness. There is a thin line between wellness and illness and continued negligence of health with the adoption of unhealthy lifestyle shifts the determinants of health to the negative direction. Hence, health promotion strategies and models have become indispensable for the betterment of individuals and community. Focus now needs to be shifted from conventional treatment procedures to client-centered health promotion, involving the whole community. Awareness among people about their health, with encouragement for those above 40 to have regular checkups will thus help in overcoming negligence. Health and wellness coaching, emerging these days, are working to educate people about common health related issues, healthy practices, and lifestyle that can help build an efficient community to prosper success and growth.

 

References

Becker, C, and McPeck, W 2013, Creating positive health: it’s more than risk reduction, National wellness institute, viewed 30 December 2015, <https://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.nationalwellness.org/resource/resmgr/WhitePapers/NWIWhitePaper_BeckerMcPeck20.pdf>

Butterworth, S, Linden, A, and McClay, W 2007, ‘Health coaching as an intervention in health management programs’, Disease management and health outcomes, 15(5), 299–307.

Byock, I 2009, ‘Suffering and wellness’, Journal of Palliative Medicine, 12(9), 785–787. 

Compton, W, C 2005, Introduction to positive psychology, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Dunn, H, L 1959, ‘High-level wellness for man and society’, American journal of public health and nations health, 49(6), 786–792.

www.scribd.com 2008, Health, wellness and illness, viewed 30 December 2015, <https://www.scribd.com/doc/3573731/Health-Wellness-and-Illness#scribd>.

Miller, F, G and Kaptchuk, T, J 2004, ‘Sham procedures and the ethics of clinical trials’, Journal of royal society of medicine, 97(12), 576–578.

Mishra, S, Yadav, T, and Rani, V 2015, ‘Exploring miRNA based approaches in cancer diagnostics and therapeutics’, Critical reviews in oncology/hematology, S1040-8428(15). doi: 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2015.10.003

Murdoch, N, H 2014, Health, wellness and illness, ResearchGate, viewed 31 December 2015, <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262766886_Health_wellness_and_illness?enrichId=rgreq-cb6c327a-2c24-4d9d-89a2-efa52cd7db0a&enrichSource=Y292ZXJQYWdlOzI2Mjc2Njg4NjtBUzoxOTg0Mjg2ODk3MzU2ODFAMTQyNDMyMDQ5NDM4MQ%3D%3D&el=1_x_2>.

Taylor, S, E and Brown, J, D 1988, Illusion and well-being: a social psychological perspective on mental health, Psychological bulletin, 103(2), 193-210

Travis, J, W and Ryan, R, S 2004, The wellness workbook: How to achieve enduring health and vitality (3rd ed.), New York, NY: Ten Speed Press.

Wolever, R, Q, Simmons, L, A, Sforzo, G, A, Dill, D, Kaye, M, Bechard, E, M, Southard, M, E,  Kennedy, M, Vosloo, J, and Yang, N 2013, A Systematic Review of the Literature on Health and Wellness Coaching: Defining a Key Behavioral intervention in Healthcare ‘A Systematic Review of the Literature on Health and Wellness Coaching: Defining a Key Behavioral intervention in HealthcareA systematic review of the literature on health and wellness coaching: defining a key behavioral intervention in healthcare’, Global advances in health and medicine, 2(4), 38–57.
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