What is Health?
Individually defined by each person according
How they feel
Absence or presence of symptoms of illness
Ability to carry out activities
Definitions of Health
Health- A state of complete physical, mental
and social well being and not merely the
absence of disease or infirmity
- (WHO – 1948)
A dynamic state, in which the individual
adapts to changes in internal and external
environments to maintain a state of well
- (Potter & Perry – 2014)
Health is a multidimensional concept
Health is multidimensional
(The Wellness Wheel)
Wellness - An active state, oriented toward maximizing the
potential of the individual. A state of living a healthy lifestyle
Illness - Response of a person to disease, which is based on the
person’s perception ( a subjective feeling) ….SYMPTOM
May or may not be related to disease
Disease - A pathologic change in structure and/ or function of
the body and miind…..SIGN
Health & Illness are..
Not static conditions
Subject to continuous evaluation and change
1. The Agent-Host-Environment model
The 3 interact in ways that create risk factors
When Agent, Host and Environment are in balance,
HEALTH is maintained…else, disease occurs!
Biological, Nutrient, Physical,
Age, Sex, Race, Genetic
2. The Health-Illness Continuum
The health illness continuum
A graphic illustration of a well being concept proposed
by John W Travis in 1972.
It describes –
Wellbeing is more than simply an absence of illness
It incorporates the individuals mental and emotional health.
No signs or symptoms of disease does not mean that person is
The Health-illness Continuum
Health is a constantly changing state with high
level wellness and death on opposite ends
The Health-Illness Continuum
Health and illness are viewed as opposite ends of a health
A person’s condition can move from a high level of health
through good health…normal…poor …extremely poor
health…to premature death
People move back and forth within this continuum day by
Their placement on the continuum is affected by how they
perceive themselves and how others see them in terms of
health and illness
Movement to the right side arrows > in level of
health and wellbeing
Achieved in three steps -
Movement to the left side arrows a progressively
decreasing state of health.
Achieved in three steps -
Most important is the direction taken by the
If towards high level of health, a person has genuinely
optimistic or positive out look despite his/ her health
If towards premature death, a person has a genuinely
pessimistic or negative out look about his or her health
Treatment model Vs Wellness model
Treatment model – The individual moves to right only to the
Eg: A hypertensive client takes medications without making any other
life style changes
Wellness model – The individual moves right beyond the
Eg :A hypertensive client takes medications. Also stops smoking, loses
weight, starts exercise programme.
Health- illness continuum
Health –A dynamic state that fluctuates as a person
adapts to changes in the internal and external
environments to maintain a state of well being
Health and illness –
Are relative concepts (not separate absolutes)
Has two ends as a graduated scale
Health- illness continuum -
Is used to describe the cause of illness
Helps identify risk factors that result from Agent-Host-
Determine level of health on the health-illness continuum
Help identify the client’s position on the continuum
Set a goal for optimal health
Assist the clients to adopt measures to reach a well state of
What is Health?
Difference between Disease and Illness
State the dimensions of Health
Explain the Agent-Host-Environment model of
Explain the Health-illness continuum
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