Unit 6


Definitions and terminology

World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as "the state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease." This defintion is beneficial as it considers the whole body and acknowledges the use of complementary and alternative traditional therapies. however, the disadvantage to this defintion is that wellbeing is a difficult thing to measure and so can result in a debate.

The Biomedical Model focuses on the absence of disease and considers illness as caused by a single factor. Health services are geared towards treating the sick, rather than preventing ill health. It considers the mind and body to be seperate systems, not considering the impact of emotions etc. on physical health.

Illness means "a subjective sensation, which might have physical and/or psychological causes." Disease means that something is "recognised by a set of symptoms that define a diagnosable, physical or psychological


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