Unit 6 M1


Examine health and illness as Social and Biological Constructs

1. The terms 'health' and 'illness' do not mean the same thing to everyone.

1.1 Health focuses on definitions, which are negative, positive and holistic. Negative focuses on the physical approach when there are no symptoms or nothing obvious, but meaning that this does not necessarily mean there is nothing wrong and everything is ok. Positive focuses on both physical and psychological approach and the fact that you have to look after your own health and take responsibility as any health issues can have a major impact on your life. Finally holistic dealing with every part of a persons life ranging from their physical, intellectual, social and emotional sided.

1.2 Illness is when pain or symptoms are visible, this can be through physical or psychological symptoms and knowing the doctor can diagnose and are able to treat. Ill health comes under 3 headings, Subjective sensation of illness where there are no physical symptoms apparent but possibly anxiety, stress or tension – but not necessarily classed as an illness in some peoples minds. Observable symptoms of disease where evidence is visible and an illness or medical problem can be diagnosed. Finally a disorder in which is described as a malfunction of the body, not necessarily genetic but something which can only be diagnosed using medical equipment.

(Smithson R 2008)

2. Outline the Biological medical model of health and illness, explaining how this is a biological construct giving both its strenghts and weaknesses.

The biological medical model of health and illness is based on biological factors which in turn is based on scientific thinking. Health is regarded as the absence of disease mainly caused by biological factors such as life style and disease putting the blame on the individual. The biological medical model is based on 4 core elements Mind Body Dualism and believing the mind can be seperated from the body, an...