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Health is a multidimensional and complex concept that can be understood and studied from different perspectives, or paradigms. One of the most common paradigms used to understand health is the biomedical paradigm, which focuses on the physical and biological aspects of health, such as the absence of disease or injury. Another paradigm used to understand health is the biopsychosocial paradigm, which views health as the interaction between biological, psychological, and social factors (Figueroa, Frakt, & Jha, 2020). The biopsychosocial paradigm emphasizes the link between health and behavior, as it recognizes that behavior plays a significant role in maintaining and promoting health (Haigh et al., 2019). For example, behaviors such as regular physical activity, healthy eating, not smoking and taking preventative measures like getting regular checkups and screenings, are important for preventing chronic diseases, and it can also contribute to mental and emotional well-being. Conversely, behaviors such as substance abuse, lack of physical activity, and poor diet can lead to poor health outcomes.
The relationship between health and behavior is also linked to the social determinants of health. Social determinants of health are the social, economic, and environmental conditions that influence health and well-being. These conditions shape the opportunities and resources that individuals have for maintaining and promoting health (Figueroa, Frakt, & Jha, 2020). For example, if an individual does not have access to healthy food options, it can be difficult for them to maintain a healthy diet and ultimately affect their overall health. Additionally, if an individual lives in a community with high crime rates, they may not feel safe engaging in physical activity, which can negatively impact their health (Haigh et al., 2019). Understanding the link between health and behavior and how it is affected by social determinants of health can help us to develop policies and interventions that promote health equity and improve health outcomes for all individuals. It can also assist healthcare practitioners to take a holistic approach while treating the patient, not only treating the disease but also addressing the social and environmental factors that may be impacting their health.
Figueroa, J. F., Frakt, A. B., & Jha, A. K. (2020). Addressing social determinants of health. JAMA, 323(16), 1553. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.2436
Haigh, F., Kemp, L., Bazeley, P., & Haigh, N. (2019). Developing a critical realist-informed framework to explain how the human rights and social determinants of health relationship work. BMC Public Health, 19(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-7760-7
In this modern day, the health risk of people is more expanded than they used to be in the the shift in focus on health has moved from the physical aspect of it and now the mental health of people can now be related to their general physical health. The circumstances in which individuals are born, grow, live, work, and age are known as social determinants of health. They include of things like socioeconomic level, education, the physical environment and neighborhood, employment, social support networks, and access to medical treatment. The ability of people to obtain health services and to meet their fundamental needs, such as fresh water and safe housing, which are crucial to keeping healthy, is affected by income level, educational achievement, race and ethnicity, and health literacy (Amezcua, et al, 2021). Some of the underlying social factors that affect health, such as poverty, are more prevalent in rural areas.
The impact of these difficulties may be exacerbated by the obstacles already existent in rural regions, such as the scarcity of nutritious food options and restricted public transportation take for instance a homeless person who does not have means to access healthcare the wellbeing of this person will be largely affected by the fact that their situation cannot allow them to access care services (Horwitz, et al, 2020). Most poor people struggle to survive and in most cases, their health is not a priority unless it is an emergency. The government should ensure that the mechanisms put in place to cater for this population receives the financial and social support needed to provide healthcare services.
Amezcua, Rivera, V. M., Vazquez, T. C., Baezconde-Garbanati, L., & Langer-Gould, A. (2021).
Health Disparities, Inequities, and Social Determinants of Health in Multiple Sclerosis
and Related Disorders in the US: A Review. JAMA Neurology, 78(12), 1515–1524. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.3416
Horwitz, Chang, C., Arcilla, H. N., & Knickman, J. R. (2020). Quantifying Health Systems’ Investment In Social Determinants Of Health, By Sector, 2017–19. Health Affairs (Millwood, Va.), 39(2), 192–196. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2019.01246
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