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In the medical field, there are varied definitions of health and ill-health. Thus, in this study, the two contrasting definition of health and ill-health is to be discussed by considering the case study of Emma that is been provided. The two models of health and illness along with three contrasting sociological perspective of health is to be discussed in relation to the case study. Further, the factors which influence people to reach ill health in relation to the case study of Emma is to be explained.
According to WHO, Health is regarded as a person’s state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the consideration of lack of any infirmary or disease in the individual (WHO, 2018). This defines that holistic improvement leads to enhanced health in a person and not just simply absence of any disease. It indicates that Emma's health and well-being would be ensured not only by removing her lump from the breast through surgical method to avoid tumour formation or cancer (disease), but also improvement of her body weight by reducing her extra pounds gained (physical), resolving her depression and anxiety (mental) and social support for caring her children along with allowing her to be employed (social) is needed.
In contrast, the medical view regarding health defines it to be the condition in individuals without the presence of any illness or disease. The definition focus mainly on the biological function of disease and does not consider the social or mental aspects regrading ill health (Hogan, 2019). The medical view mentions that if a person is without any disease or illness, then the individual is regarded to be health (Hogan, 2019). Thus, according to medical definition of health and ill health, the absence of any disease that is lack of lump in the breast would regard Emma to be healthy irrespective of her physical, mental and social suffering while managing her five children and dealing with her divorce from Matt.
The Sociological Model of Health mentions that influence of social, political, cultural and environmental factors that contributes the health of the person are to be managed to ensure their improved health and well-being (Bolton and Gillett, 2019). The five key principles of the model are addressing broader determinants of health, reducing social inequalities, empowering individual and communities, allowing access to enhanced health and inter-sectorial collaboration formation in health (Øversveen et al., 2017). Therefore, the application of the model in case of Emma mentions that her broader determinants of health such as family management and employment which she is currently facing difficult to manage are to be addressed and resolved.
According to Social Model of Health, Emma is to be empowered in taking actions to manage her family matters and disobedient children through the help of social services, reduce increased body weight, manage her anxiety and stress with family matters and care of lump in her breast. She is required to be provided easy access to a nearby healthcare unit for easy care services for her lump in the breast, allow access to inter-sectorial collaboration in support her to take care of the family and reduce or avoid any social inequalities caused to her. The advantage of using the model in delivering care to Emma is that it allows creating community approaches from all levels to assist in improving the health well-being of the person (Pilgrim and McKeown, 2018). However, the limitation of the model is that following its framework would create hardship in determine the way lifestyle of Emma is to be changed to ensure her enhanced health (Movahed et al., 2019).
In contrast, the Behaviour Model of Health mentions that taking preventive approach and focus on changing lifestyle behaviour help to positively influence the health and well-being of an individual (Badham et al., 2018). According to this model, persuading Emma to develop healthy eating behaviour, developing lifestyle to intake medication and continue treatment regarding her lump in the breast appropriately, adopting service to manage her children and family and taking responsibility in taking her own care would ensure her good health and well-being. The advantage of using this model in taking care of Emma is that it would help to guide her in improving her lifestyle and behaviour essential for her well-being (Badham et al., 2018). However, the disadvantage of the model is that following it to enhance the health of Emma would be time-taking during which additional health issues may be created in her life that may disrupt in reaching her enhanced well-being (Sharma, 2017).
The Functionalism mentions that enhanced health and effective medical care is essential part of the smooth functioning society. The patients are to play the role of sick and to be exempted from any normal obligations. The perspective mentions that physicians are to provide instruction of care to the patient and they are needed to strictly follow them (Basir et al., 2020). Thus, according to functionalism perspective, Emma is to be absolved from all her normal obligations such as caring for the family and children since she is sick. Moreover, it is her duty to strictly follow the physician guidance provided through letter to access the surgery and develop enhanced health. The limitation of the perspective is that it ignores the influence of the social backgrounds that affect the health of the patient and makes them unable to absolved from all responsibilities in life (Akokuwebe and Adekanbi, 2017). This is evident as by following the perspective to arrange care to Emma, the social background such as lack of any help to manage her children, lack of employment of Emma that is creating economic issues and others are completely ignored.
In contrast, the Conflict theory of health informs that social inequality characterises the quality of health and well-being of individuals. This indicates that people from the lower social background are likely to suffer from hindered health condition and inadequate healthcare compared to others in the influential background (Wells et al., 2017). It is evident as in case of Emma it is seen that she is experiencing difficulty to arrange social support or carers for managing her family of five children due to economic issues as she has no employment so that she can be able to easily access her care regarding lump in the breast. The conflict theory mentions that physicians tried creating problem regarding health to create increased income from people (Abd Razak et al., 2019). According to this theory, it may be deduced that Emma’s lump in the breast surgery may not be actually required and physicians are mentioning the treatment to avail increased income. The criticism regarding conflict theory mentions that it has harshly mentioned health inequality and negative attitude of physicians as all may not be same (Wells et al., 2017). The statement is true as lump in breast are often regarded as prior condition that later leads to development of breast cancer in most cases and thus are important to be removed (Gulzar et al., 2019). Therefore, the physicians by suggesting removal of lump from the breast of Emma has executed their duty to ensure her well-being and not for accessing greater income.
In comparison, the symbolic interactionism on health mention that health and illness are mainly social constructs. This means physical and mental health have minimum objectivity in real and they are considered in such a way because they are defined by society (Lee, 2018). Thus, according this sociological perspective, the increased body weight, lump in the breast, stress and anxiety caused to Emma due to fear of breast cancer and inability to manage relationship with her ex-husband Matt and children are considered not to be real health issues. This is because they are mainly the constructive ideas of the society and are not at all any illness. The limitation of the symbolic interactionist perspective is that it considers no illness to be real (Charmaz et al., 2019). However, it is not true as many serious health issues such as breast cancer, stress and anxiety as mental health issues and other does exist in the society that may created hindered health condition on the patients.
The role of social, cultural, mental and other factors is immense in influencing way people react towards their ill-health. According to Tomlinson et al. (2018), the psychological factors such as stress and anxiety cause complication in the mind of people to take effective decision regarding their care. This is because the disturbed mental condition leads the people experience hindrance in focusing on specific information to judge them appropriately in taking decision regarding their care. For instance, in the case study of Emma, it is seen that she is experiencing stress and anxiety regarding her lump in the breast as similar situation has been faced in her family that turned into cancer due to which her nan died 10 year ago and her mother has to receive care for 5 years ago. The stress and anxiety are leading her unable to remain clam and react anxious to the healthcare staff for her care. Moreover, her stress and anxiety regarding incapability to manage her children has also led her unable to focus on her care and miss reading and following the prior treatment information sent by the physicians for surgery regarding her lump in the breast.
The health beliefs of the patients also influence the way they react to ill health because negative belief regarding any health condition lead the patient unable to develop calm and focused attitude towards receiving treatment (Caoet et al., 2018). It is evident from the case study of Emma, where her belief developed from previous family experiences that the lump in the breast would led her to experience cancer and die is making her remain anxious and worry about her health condition along with show non-cooperative behaviour in accessing care. The presence of lack of family and social support also influences the way people react to ill health. This is because without social support the people with ill health feel rejected by the society and lack emotional support to feel encouraged in managing behaviour, lifestyle and treatment to overcome the disease (Berry et al., 2019). However, enhanced support from society such as neighbours and friends, family members and other acts as emotional assistance for the patient to develop motivation and encouragement in overcoming the condition (Robinson et al., 2017).
In case of Emma, it is seen that she has no social support from her family as they live far in helping her managing her children and everyday activities. This has led her unable to have emotional and physical support in managing her household activities and children. It has made her unable to focus on the needs of her treatment such as avoiding eating or drink anything before the surgery in the breast and experience problem in the care centre in having surgical treatment required. Moreover, the lack of family support has also led her to be agitated on being reported to face late treatment in the clinic because she is facing anxiety and lack of hope that her children will be left alone without her care that may be dangerous for them.
According to information from the essay, it is recommended that Emma is to be immediately provided social support in allowing her to manage her family. Moreover, it is recommended that physical support is provided to Emma in lowering her body weight and she is needed to be recommended to a psychologist for counselling to overcome her stress and anxiety regarding personal life and health.
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