Definitions of health
It is fairly difficult to define health as there are no agreements between scholars. This is why many sociologists focus their research on the different issues and problems of ill health.
Positive definition of health: positive health looks at the physical, emotional, intellectual aspects of a person’s wellbeing. This is in the way that they do not have any diseases or ailments.
An example of the positive definition of health in a health and social care is a nurse in who is working in a hospital can say to one of their patients that have recently started exercising to become more ‘healthier’ ‘you look very healthy’.
Positive health looks at what aspects of health are there and which ones make us healthy.
Negative definition of health: negative health looks at illnesses and diseases that are not in the body and the body’s absence from them.
Even though this definition is called negative, it does not mean that the person is being negative and it does not mean that the person is unhealthy or in a negative way. It just means that they are not ill, upset or tired or have any other things that could be holding them back.
An example of the negative health in a health and social care setting could be that a patient of a psychologist may now be seen as healthy because they no longer suffer with depression.
Negative looks at what isn’t there in the form of diseases and illnesses and what isn’t there makes us healthy.
Holistic definition of health: holistic health refers to the person as a whole instead of looking at their separate illnesses and problems. Holistic health connects all aspects of our existence. These include our body, emotions, mind and spirit and it enthuses for them to all be balanced and never looks at just one area. The different aspects of health that are referred to under the definition of holistic health are physical, intellectual, emotional and social.
An example of holistic health could be that a psychologist’s client may have bipolar disorder and the psychologist would still focus on all of the other aspects of their client’s life and not just on the symptoms the client is experiencing of bipolar disorder.
Holistic health looks as everything as a whole and never different aspects of health individually.
World Health Organisation definition of health: the World Health Organisation defines health as “not merely an absence of disease, but a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being.” (2013 K Pritchett Class Notes)
An example of health defined by the World Health Organisation in a health and social care setting could be that in order for a patient of a doctors surgery to be healthy they would have to have a complete state of physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being. This means that if a patient was in a wheel chair they could never be seen as healthy as they do not have a complete state of physical well-being.
The World Health Organisation thinks that people must...