The medical model is not only useful as an academic tool at the critical or theoretical level, it also appeals to health care practitioners at a practical level. The medical model is a scientific view on health and body functioning that was originated in the 19th century. This was when people were beginning to understand the functions of the human body and the ways in keeping the body healthy. The medical model of health was first based on the idea that the human body is like a machine; a car broke down, then it would need to be fixed.
The concept of the medical model of health is highly supported by health and social care practitioners that focus on curing illness, rather than the inhibition of illness. They would focused on producing medicines, which would treat numerous diseases and surgeries, this could renovate different parts of the body. The health and social care practitioners value specialist medical services highly because health is viewed as the absence of diseases and illnesses. If someone was to become ill they would make an appointment to see a doctor because they see the doctor as someone to help cure them. The person involved in the treatment process has very little say. This means that whatever the doctor concludes about the health of the person would be final and the person is expected to carry out the advice of the doctor.
The medical of health is associated with the negative definition of health because the model focuses on the individual physical body and explains diseases or illnesses and its symptoms as a physical restraints, an example would be accidents. The medical model of health does not look at the psychological factor as the social model does. The concept of the social model of health is that people are not disabled because of illnesses or injury, but how society is constructed. The medical model disagrees with the social model because injury is seen as the cause of disability and that the person with the disability is expected to learn how to adapt within society, instead of society adapting to them. In the medical model disabled people as an issue, they should be adjusted to fit into the world as it is. On the off chance that this isn't conceivable, then they should be shut away in a particular institution or isolated at home, where only their most elementary needs are met.
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The social model can be understood, in part, as a reaction to the limits of the medical model. This model is carefully linked with positive definitions of health. In the social model the health of individuals and communities is seen as the consequence of complex and interrelating Communal, economic, environmental and personal factors. The social model of health is the direct opposite of the medical model. This is because the social model tries to prevent people from becoming ill rather than waiting for them to become ill and then treating them. The model attempts to address the larger influences on health. These are social, cultural, environmental and economic factors rather than diseases and injuries.
The social model of health shows that for health and wellbeing to be achieved, the social, environmental and economic factors that affect health need to be addressed alongside biological and medical factors. The social model of health discards the impartiality and scientific self-importance of the bio-medical model and regards reliance upon the scientific method as only one way to measure health. The social model of health acknowledges that health and illness are created socially and that the health we experience relates to the way society is organized. According to Gillespie and Gerhardt (1995) states that health has an historical, cultural and social context and cannot be understood unless we appreciate.
Culture is a factor that can have a negative or positive impact on a person’s health. Catholics are strongly against the use of contraception, which can lead to sexual transmitted diseases or infections and unwanted pregnancies. This is because Catholics believe that God has created each human for procreation and this means that a catholic person should not use contraception because they are interfering with God’s creation and stopping the procreation from occurring. Another example of the impact culture can have an impact on a person’s help is the Jehovah Witness disagreeing with blood transfusion. This is vital because it can lead to serious life-threatening diseases or infections.
Education is another factor that has an impact on a person’s health and assertiveness towards health. If someone is taught about how to prevent various infections and diseases by taking measures, such as washing your hands before and after eating is essential for not passing diseases to other people. The social model of health has a link with the view that people can deal with their health responsibly if educated.
Most service users believe that a medical model founded on deficit and pathology still controls public and professional understanding of mental health issues, influential attitudes and policy. The service users largely see such a medical model as harmful and unhelpful. The labelling and stigma subsequent from a medical model of mental illness emerge as major fences for mental health service users. Service users see social tactics to mental health issues as much more helpful. The service users feel that broader subjects need to be taken more into account to stand the individualisation of mental health issues. They have diverse and complex opinions about the social model of disability and how co-operative a related social model of insanity and suffering would be.
The table above shows the differences between the medical and social model of health. The first point written for the medical model of health is that it has a “narrow or simplistic understanding of health.” This would suggest that the medical model of health is not reliable because it lacks detail and therefore it is vague. The words ‘narrow’ and ‘simplistic’ is associated with imprecise and unclear. Furthermore, advocating that the medical model of health is not dependable.
The second point made for the social model of health is “broad or complex understanding of health.” This is automatically different from what was stated by the medical model of health because the social model is claimed to be in more detail. The words ‘board’ and ‘complex’ is associated with profundity and detailed. Another point of medical model of health is that the model is a “biased definition focusing on the absence of disease or disability.” This means that the definition of the medical model is disregarding disability. People who are disabled are seen as the cause of the disability. They are blamed and are not valued for their abilities. However, the social model of health is more holistic and looks at the overview picture of the situation by taking a wide range of factors into account for why a person is disabled. The social model of health does not blame the person for being disabled.
The third point is that the medical model of health does not take in account the wider factors that can affect a person’s health. This is because the medical model of health focuses on the physical factors rather than social, environmental or economic. This differs from the social model of health because the social model focuses all the factors. It looks into the environmental, physical, social and economic factors that can have an impact on a person’s health. The social model of health also looks into the impact of inequalities, which is mentioned in the table above.
The last point is that the social model of health takes account to knowledge and understanding. This means that the social model of health is more focused on the community as the cause of the individual having the health problem and therefore, would consider the knowledge and understanding the individual had learnt from their community. However, the medical model of health is highly influenced by scientific and expert knowledge. This means that the medical model of health only focuses on how to treat a person that has a health problem, rather than the cause of the health problem. The person would first have to be ill in order for the doctor to treat them.
The Medical Model of Health is parallel to Machines
The medical model of health views people as machines; the various body systems are seen as systems which can be repaired, replaced and tampered. For example; if a person was to feel ill, they would make an appointment to see their doctor. Then the doctor would provide some medication or treatment options, such as operations. The diagram below is a parallel between machines and the medical model of health. This is because medical model of health sees the cause of diseases by bacteria, virus or genetic factors. It does not include other factors, such as social or emotional. Due to the person being seen as a machine, other aspects, such as unemployment are also not considered. This can lead to health care practitioners dealing with illnesses and ill health rather than promoting good health.
Failure to Conform to Health Advice
Addiction can make it difficult for a person to withdraw from medication that was prescribed to them. This can be because the person had become dependent on the medication. This would result on failure to conform to health advice because the service user would take an excessive amount, they would abuse the medication. Addiction can be linked to the medical model of health because the service user’s illness would not be treated by the healthcare organisation due to the service user consuming too much of their medication. This would mean that the medication that is produced would not be effective. This is because the service user is taking an excessive amount, which would mean poor health and long-term health problems.
However, addiction can be linked to the social model of health because society has expectation and does not tolerate addiction. This is because society has norms and values. If a person was not following the norms of society, they would be socially excluded. Addiction is viewed as a social problem by many people. Majority of people believe that drug abusers can willingly stop taking drugs. These people often miscalculate the difficulty of drug addiction. Addiction has an impact on the brain, and therefore stopping drug abuse is not simply a matter of willpower. The social model of health views the individuals and communities as the consequence of complex and interrelating problem. Therefore, the person who is having a problem with addiction can be a result of the community and rather, than the medical health organisation. The community is the cause for the person not following health advice.
Fear can make an individual afraid of the affect and changes that the medication might have on their body. If there is more side effect on the medication, it can make a person being cautious when taking the medication. This can result on the individual not taking the right amount of medication that was advised by a health and social care practitioner because they are more likely to take smaller amount. Fear can be related to the medical model of health because the health and social care practitioner would be prescribing the service user medication that can provoke a sense of fear. This is because the medical model of health views people as machines; the various body systems are seen as systems, which can be repaired, replaced and tampered. This can cause a person to be more scared if the health and social care practitioner is advising them medication or treatment options that has more side-affects.
Peer pressure is another example of why a person would fail to conform to health advice. This is because the person would want to fit in with friends and therefore, might refuse to take their medication when they are around their friends. If a health and social care practitioner had advised the person to take their medication in a certain time, such as after eating meals. It can be a problem to some people because they don’t want to seem weak to their peers. This is a social problem and therefore, relates to the social model of health. Peer pressure relates to the social model of health because it is the community that is causing the person to not follow medical advice.
There are finical problems that can prevent someone to conform to health advice. The cost of the medication might be expensive for some service users. If the health and social care practitioner advices the service user to buy a certain medication every one or two months, it can result on a finical barrier. This is because they won’t be able to afford the medication and therefore, would not follow health advice. This would lead to future health problems. Finical problems is related to the medical model of health because the medical model of health focuses on repairing the person. If the person can’t afford the medication then they are more likely to fail to not follow the advice of the health and social care practitioner. I’ve mentioned that the medical model of health is focused on the person having the illness or disease and therefore, would not help to prevent the disease. This would be problematic for a person who cannot afford the medication or treatment, further worsening their recovery.
If a person is in denial it can prevent them following health advice. It is hard to come to terms with health conditions. If a person was to go through a traumatic events, they are more likely to be in denial. A traumatic event can be serious accidents, life-threatening illnesses, and bereavement, experiencing a crime or war. Due to the traumatic events the person can be withdrawn, which would lead to them not accepting their health condition. For example; if a person was informed that they had lung cancer; they may be unwilling to take their medication because of denial. When a person is in denial they feel frightened, helpless, angry, guilty, sad, ashamed and embarrassed. The person might feel that the cancer will happen again and then would eventually lose control and break down. This is a social problem because the person is not receiving care because of emotional factors. The medical model of health does not focus on the emotional factors, like the social model of health.
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The Medical and Social Model of Health. (2017, Aug 27). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/medical-social-model-health/
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