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Concepts in Health and Ill Health

Task 1

Theoretical Perspectives

Several types of theoretical perspectives have been introduced, which contribute to health and illness differently. Among those symbolic interactionism and conflict perspective are the two most common theoretical perspectives of health and illness (Raphael, Bryant and Rioux, 2019). In accordance with the theorists working in the symbolic interactionist perspective, health and illness are socially developed. Moreover, this theoretical perspective significantly focused on two terms of deviance, namely, medicalisation and demedicalisation. The term medicalisation defines as a process in which bad behaviour changes into sick behaviour. Whereas, demedicalisation refers to the normalisation of sick behaviour. Other than this, this theoretical perspective was mainly constructed to determine the impact of social interaction on the self-development of an individual (Den and Weaver, 2017).

On the other hand, the conflict perspective was used by the theorists so as to suggest that the problems related to the healthcare system are embedded in a capitalist society, as with other types of social problems. In accordance with the conflict theory the capitalism and the trading of profit result in the commodification of health. However, this means that the people who possess more power and wealth are the ones who can participate in the decision making process for the development and operation of the healthcare system. Disparities are, therefore, created between such dominant and subordinate groups (Grant, 2017).

Parson’s Sick Role

Sick role is a common term which is mainly used in medical sociology concerning the sickness along with the obligations and rights of a patient. This significant concept was constructed by a functionalist sociologist Talcott Parsons in the year 1951. In accordance with Parson, a sick individual enters the role of sanctioned deviance due to the reason that a sick patient can never be an active part of society. However, the general perspective of Parson’s Sick Role is that a physically ill individual is associated with the social role that is, the social norms of such individuals are equally important in the healthcare system (Russ, 2018).

Stigmatisation and its potential effect upon service users

Stigmatisation is referred to as a social process for devaluing people on the basis of difference in age, behaviour, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation (Perrewé, 2019). The process of stigmatisation involves discrimination in the provision of care or treatment due to social differences. According to Romanelli and Hudson (2017), stigmatisation acts as a barrier to the provision of equitable and effective care to patients in healthcare. However, individuals are unable to get access to healthcare services leading to poor health outcomes. Women are more likely to experience discrimination and stigmatisation than men, specifically during sexuality cases. Thus, stigmatisation poses a negative impact on the health outcomes of service users by restricting their access to healthcare services. 

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Task 2

Models of Healthcare Delivery

From a number of different healthcare model, Biomedical and Bio-psychosocial model are the two most common and significant models of healthcare delivery. The biomedical model of health is defined as a systematic measure of health which concerns about the diseases because of biological reasons resulting in a breakdown within a human body. However, this significant model operates under the influence of policies and recommendations given by the NHS. The biomedical model enables healthcare practitioners to deal with sick bodies and deliver adequate care to patients for restoring their body’s functions (Morais, 2019). The biomedical model is given below;

Figure 1: Biomedical Model of Healthcare Delivery

On the other hand, Biopsychosocial model was designed by George Engel in the year 1977. In accordance with this model, the medical condition of a sick individual cannot be assessed only by biological factors, but the psychological and social factors also need to be taken into consideration. Bolton and Gillett (2019) determined that this significant model is mainly implemented in chronic pain with a perspective that the pain is collectively referred to as a psychophysiological behavioural pattern and cannot be separately dismantled into social, psychological and biological factors as shown below in diagram;

Figure 2: Biopsychosocial Model of Healthcare Delivery

Case Study

A 94-year gentleman named as Mr Raymond Palanca was observed to have been suffering from chronic lung problems for years. At the age of 53, he was diagnosed with chronic pulmonary disease (COPD), which led to the prevalence of chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. On a visit to him, the carer found that the patient was breathing faster and seemed to be physically uncomfortable. His rate of expiration has also prolonged, and he was producing green sputum on coughing. Thus, in this case, the model of healthcare delivery which would be most appropriate is the Biopsychosocial model. The reason for considering this model is that that certain elements have been determined during diagnosis, which can fit accurately into Biological, Psychological and Social domains. Since the patient’s problems are observed to be influential on each other, therefore, it is important to focus on all the elements. Other than this, the reason for choosing this model is that Mr Raymond has developed a long-term condition as which cannot be cured. Thus, this model would help in alleviating further symptoms and provide efficient treatment for improving his quality of life. As supported by Roddha and Braybrooke (2019), Biopsychosocial model can efficiently be used in managing long-term conditions. 

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Task 3

Effect of social inequalities on life chances and health status of individuals

Social inequalities in the field of health and social care influence the health and life chances of an individual. For example, inequality in income influences the access of low-income individuals to health and social care. According to Niessen et al. (2018), middle and low-income families are unable to receive extra services due to socioeconomic inequalities. Other than this, the career and aspirations of an individual cannot be acquired because of inequality. Due to impairment, the sick individuals experience stereotyping in schools and even in the community. Also, it leads to poor health outcomes and decreases the chances of a healthy life.

Measurement of mortality and morbidity by the government

Moreover, the three government census agencies of England and Wales measure the mortality rate through registration of death certificates. The mortality statistics are evaluated by the Office for National Statistics. Whereas, the rate of morbidity is measured by the Health Protection Agency through statutory notifiable (Katikireddi et al., 2017).

Health education and health promotion for improving the health of the nation

Health education and promotion can be effectively used for improving the health of the nation as it helps in reducing the expenses which the nation spend on acquiring medical treatment. Health education provides knowledge about the mental, social, emotional and physical health, which consequently improves the health of people by reducing their risky behaviours and instructs them about the preventive measures for controlling rate of morbidity (Sharma, 2016).



Bolton, D. and Gillett, G., 2019. The Biopsychosocial Model 40 Years On. In The Biopsychosocial Model of Health and Disease (pp. 1-43). Palgrave Pivot, Cham.

Den Nieuwenboer, N. and Weaver, G.R., 2017. Context, Meaning and Agency in Moral Disengagement: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2017, No. 1, p. 11630). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.

Grant, E.P., 2017. Conflict Theory. The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice, pp.1-4.

Katikireddi, S.V., Leyland, A.H., McKee, M., Ralston, K. and Stuckler, D., 2017. Patterns of mortality by occupation in the UK, 1991–2011: a comparative analysis of linked census and mortality records. The Lancet Public Health, 2(11), pp.e501-e512.

Morais, C.A., 2019. Chronic pain conceptualisation within a uniquely marginalised population: exploratory analysis of the relations between biomedical and biopsychosocial perspectives and functioning (Doctoral dissertation, University of Alabama Libraries).

Niessen, L.W., Mohan, D., Akuoku, J.K., Mirelman, A.J., Ahmed, S., Koehlmoos, T.P., Trujillo, A., Khan, J. and Peters, D.H., 2018. Tackling socioeconomic inequalities and non-communicable diseases in low-income and middle-income countries under the Sustainable Development agenda. The Lancet, 391(10134), pp.2036-2046.

Perrewé, P.L., Daniels, S.R., Hackney, K.J. and Maher, L., 2019. Pregnancy in the workplace: the role of stigmas, discrimination, and identity management. In Women, Business and Leadership. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Raphael, D., Bryant, T. and Rioux, M. eds., 2019. Staying alive: Critical perspectives on health, illness, and health care. Canadian Scholars.

Roddha, R. and Braybrooke, J., 2019, September. BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL PERCEPTIONS IN PATIENTS AND HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS. In Orthopaedic Proceedings (Vol. 101, No. SUPP_9, pp. 43-43). The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Romanelli, M. and Hudson, K.D., 2017. Individual and systemic barriers to health care: Perspectives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 87(6), p.714.

Russ, A.J., 2018. Sick Role. The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, pp.1-2.

Sharma, M., 2016. Theoretical foundations of health education and health promotion. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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