Mildred Baxter conducted a survey in 1990 on Health and Lifestyles, and asked 10,000 people how they defined health, her results were defined by Three answers: -
• Positive Definitions- where health is defined as feeling fit and able to undertake any reasonable task.
• Negative Definitions- where health is defined in terms of being free from pain and discomfort.
• Functional Definitions- where people define health in terms of being able to perform a range of tasks.
Whereas Medical Definitions state that: -
• Illness is always based on an identifiable (physical/mental) cause.
• Illnesses and their causes can be identified, classified and measured.
• The cure lies in the physical body of a ...view middle of the document...
From research it can be seen that lower, poorer classes have a higher mortality rate, including infant, than the higher classes, these are mainly seen in Respiratory Disease, Injuries and poisoning and Cerebrovascular Disease, this is because lower classes tend to work mainly in manual work, such as factories with dangerous machinery and working in bad weather conditions.
Tudor-Hart (1971), suggested in the Inverse Care Law, that higher class that needs it least gets more resources and lower classes that needs it most gets the least resources, So social class inequalities are made worse by inequalities in the NHS, this is because poorer areas do not have as many GP practices, they have to depend on public transport, and are more likely to lose pay for taking time off. Whereas it is thought that the middle/higher classes have the resources to find out what healthcare they are entitled to, and are more likely to fight against poor health services, and are able to jump NHS waiting lists by paying privately.
It can be argued that material explanations suggest that those who suffer poor health do not have a healthy balanced diet, inadequate housing conditions, lack of education and joblessness, all stem from poverty, which shows the link between material deprivation and ill-health. Also that poverty and class status in society is not just the reasons for poor health; it also comes down to the individual choices and cultural choices that are made by people in their life. People are not told they have to smoke or drink or take drugs, they do it because they want to, which could be one of the reasons Respiratory Diseases and Heart disease are on the increase. It can also be argued that another reason why these diseases and other health problems, such as obesity, which is high in lower classes, are on the increase is because of the cheap unhealthy food that is being eaten, and lack of exercise, is also an individual choice.
It is thought that Ethnic groups experience poor levels of health as a result of inequalities in the health service. A comprehensive survey (The Health of Britain's Ethnic minorities), was conducted in 1997 by James Nazroo, his findings challenged the view that biology and culture were the main factors that explained the health of ethnic groups in the UK, but instead focused on the importance of socio-economic factors. The findings found that: - people from black and Indian minorities are more likely to suffer from TB, Diabetes and Heart Disease, people from ethnic minorities are more likely to be hospitalised for mental illnesses, and most ethnic minorities show higher rates of still births, prenatal deaths and infant deaths as well as higher mortality rate. It can be seen from research conducted by the Health Authority that up to 50% of ethnic minorities described themselves as having poor health.
It could be argued that the reasons for this is because of poverty and material deprivation, while racism and discrimination also...