Health Concepts and Behavior Change

The definition of health has been an elusive matter for sociologists as various definitions have emerged from different health professionals. Whereas other scholars have defined it as a negative approach to health or the lack of illnesses in the human body, others portend that health is the absence of mental, physical, social, or spiritual well-being in an individual. The latter definition has been accepted by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) formal definition. With the varying definitions of health, understanding or describing its concepts depend on an individual take. Having reviewed many health articles, I find the holistic, positive, and negative health concepts to be popular with majority of health experts.

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The negative concept holds that health in an individual is the absence of pain, distress, and disease symptoms. Those who believe in the negative concept have the view that it is not unique to have good health and as such, they do not take seriously that they are well. This complacency makes the supporters of this concept not to take remedial measures of staying healthy. This is mainly witnessed we have no minor health problems like common cold, tiredness, or depression. Secondly, positive concept holds that I should take continuous actions in order to stay healthy. Proponents of the positive concept pose that I should blame myself when I develop disease symptoms but take credit when my actions help me lead a healthy life. Finally, the holistic concept of health views that being healthy imply a situation when I do not have any physical challenges, or illnesses but having emotional discomfort.

It is practically difficult to make a choice on the best concept to apply in my understanding of health as the circumstances we face in life do vary. The concept of health has evolved over the years because in the olden days, the negative concept was mainly appreciated given that people led a more natural life that is free from polluted environment. However, with the many diseases of the modern era, it would be critical to develop a positive concept because preventive medicine now defines the future of medicine.

I am an ardent proponent of the positive concept because of personal values and social factors. Personally, I feel that exercise is a significant part of the diet that is needed to make the body function properly. WHO report estimates that lack of exercise account for 1.9 million deaths per annum, (Selvan, Wilkinson & Chamberlain, 2004). Consequently, the role of women in the corporate scene is limiting their conventional role of house makers. Within this cacophony, all members of the family have less time to prepare home meals and instead opt for fast food. As Selvan et al. (2004) note, the Western nations are the most affected by the dietary change because of the changing social demography.    

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Part 2: My Successful Behavior Change

I would have been a cigarette smoker were it not for my behavior change. Two of my best friends were cigarette smokers and due to peer pressure, I was almost on the verge of engaging in the practice. Luckily, I had an opportunity to meet a stroke patient was state of health was further complicated due to his smoking habit. The complication of cigarette smoking among stroke patients is buttressed by Aldoori (1998) that,”Cigarette smoking is a definite independent risk factor for stroke, particularly ischemic stroke.” This is because smoking raises fibrinogen levels packed cell volume. As a positive concept health proponent, I decided to take precaution and desist from ever thinking of holding a cigarette in my hand.

Even though my behavior change towards smoking would have been easy because I was never became a smoker, it is critical for a health care provider to do their best in developing a comprehensive intervention for stroke patients. As Visser-Meily, Post, Gorter & Berdenis (2006) write, “Intervention should be focused on the family’s problems and needs, learning to set goals, problem-solving and using coping strategies, (p. 1560).

In line with the positive concept of health, nursing interventions should stretch beyond the confines of care centers and focus on preventive care. Sims (2011) posits that achieving preventive care medicine calls for the collaborative competence of all professionals in educating the society. Hence, in order to promote behavior change in the society, an all-inclusive preventive strategy is essential (Barr, Hammick, Koppel & Reeves 1999).        

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The collaboration among different professionals will ensure the patient recovers promptly. Collaboration between a nurse and a social worker is becoming acceptable in all facets of health care practice. This is because of the need to practice health practices to provide state-of-the-art psychosocial-medical care, which requires professionals to be interdependent. Social workers also advise patients, their family members and on how to handle the various stages of nursing care. For the different professionals to work together, the communication channel must be responsive to react to any state of emergency in the rehabilitation of the patient. 

Moreover, to curb the social ill of over-reliance on fast food and poor exercise behaviors, the most preferred strategies is the promotion of work-site wellness programs at places of work. Work-site wellness and health promotion programs would allow the participation of workers in positive health concepts for healthier lifestyles. This will be vital in preventing the onset of a disease or worsening of a medical condition.

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