Critically discuss the biomedical model and social model of health and how they relate to lay perspective on health and illness. For this essay I will be analytically examining the models of health; the biomedical model and social model. I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of these models and how they relate to the lay person’s viewpoint on health and illness. Models of health are ‘conceptual frameworks’ or another method of thinking about health.
The biomedical model of health has been around since the mid-nineteenth century that is mainly focusing on the physical or biological characteristics of disease and illness. It is a medical model of care applied by doctors and or health professionals and is also linked with the diagnosis, cure and treatment of diseases. The model has been progressing over the years that have lead in to the development in medical science and its technology; for example the rise in cures and treatments such as inoculations and vaccines.
The biomedical model of health is the dominant approach to medicine and healthcare in developed countries. Supporters of this model argue that it is responsible for the significant advances made in medicine and healthcare over the past few centuries. However, there are also drawbacks to this approach, which some critics say have been exaggerated by its proponents.
One advantage of the biomedical model is that it has resulted in a great deal of progress in medicine and healthcare. This progress has led to longer life expectancy and improved quality of life for many people. The biomedical model has also helped to develop effective treatments for a range of conditions and diseases.
However, there are also some disadvantages associated with the biomedical model. One criticisms is that it can lead to an over-reliance on medicine and a focus on treating disease, rather than preventing it. This means that some people may end up taking medicine unnecessarily or for conditions that could be prevented with lifestyle changes. Additionally, the biomedical model can also be quite expensive, as it tends to rely heavily on expensive medical treatments and drugs.
Despite these drawbacks, the biomedical model remains the dominant approach to medicine and healthcare in many parts of the world. While its critics argue that there are other ways of looking at health and illness that offer better alternatives, there is evidence to suggest that this model has been instrumental in improving overall health outcomes for patients. Ultimately, then, the debate over whether or not the biomedical model is beneficial will likely continue for many years to come.
This health model concentrates on the disease, illness or disability and attempts to cure or return the person’s physical health to a pre-illness state. The emphasis is on the diagnosis and separately treating the person from their lifestyle and living conditions. However, the motive of the disease is not the main priority of the biomedical model. The biomedical model has been prevailing for many years and have played a huge part in extending people’s lifespan and it also tends to be the initial thing individuals think about when thinking of healthcare.
In the biomedical approach, the doctors, health professionals and hospitals are the main emphasis of medication or wellbeing. The belief that the doctor will be capable of fixing the ailment and that the patient will adopt the submissive part. There are two aspects of biomedical approach: Diagnosis and Intervention. Diagnosis is the identification of the illness or infections through the health professional’s observations of symptoms or through diagnostic tests. For examples; blood tests, chest x-rays and CT scans.
Advantages Of Biomedical Model Of Health
The biomedical model of health is a widely used framework for understanding and studying health and illness. While there are many advantages to this approach, it has been criticized by some for being too focused on the physical body, neglecting other important factors that can impact health and well-being. Despite these criticisms, the biomedical model remains a popular choice among healthcare providers and researchers, as it offers a number of important benefits.
One of the major advantages of the biomedical model is its focus on scientific evidence. By emphasizing objective measures such as laboratory tests and medical imaging, this framework allows for more reliable diagnoses and treatment plans that are based on strong evidence from scientific research. Additionally, this approach emphasizes prevention and early detection of disease, which can lead to better health outcomes overall.
Another benefit of the biomedical model is that it takes a reductionist approach to understanding health and illness. This means that complex phenomena are broken down into smaller, more manageable parts in order to be better understood. This approach has led to major advances in our knowledge of the human body and how diseases develop, as well as important breakthroughs in medical treatment.
Finally, the biomedical model is generally very successful in treating acute illnesses and injuries. When used correctly, this framework can effectively address immediate health concerns and help patients return to a state of good health.
Intervention is the action taken to recover a person’s health and wellbeing. For example; hospitalization, prescriptions, surgery and various other medical treatments. The advantage of the biomedical model of health is that it creates technological and research innovations and without this health model there would be little information about treating and diagnosing illness and many common diseases can be successfully treated which has prolonged life expectancy and improved quality of life and can also be effective in recovering somebody back to better health.
Disadvantages Of Biomedical Model Of Health
The Biomedical model of health is the dominant paradigm in modern healthcare, and has many advantages. However, it also has several disadvantages that can negatively impact patients and healthcare providers.
One of the key disadvantages of the Biomedical model is that it tends to focus on treating individual symptoms or diseases, rather than addressing root causes or underlying factors that contribute to illness. This often results in treatments that are ineffective or even harmful, as they may not address the full scope of a patient’s condition or needs.
Another disadvantage of this approach is that it tends to favor pharmaceutical interventions over other types of treatment, such as psychotherapy or exercise. While medication may be appropriate for some conditions, relying solely on drugs can actually lead to more negative health outcomes, as patients may become dependent on them or develop adverse reactions.
Lastly, Biomedical model of health can also be limiting because it often overlooks the role that factors like diet and lifestyle play in overall health. This can lead to a fragmented view of healthcare that focuses on treating individual conditions rather than taking a more holistic approach.
Overall, while there are many benefits to the Biomedical model of health, its disadvantages highlight the need for alternative approaches that take a more patient-centered and integrated view of wellness.
The disadvantage of the biomedical model of health is that it relies on health professionals and technology, which is therefore costly, and the professionals with specialist knowledge needed are quite expensive to train and the technology, equipment and the technological development are also too costly. Also, this model does not incite people to live a healthier lifestyle as they are treated to remedy complications as they happen.
Biomedical Model Limitations
The biomedical model is the predominant model used by healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat illnesses. It is based on the belief that all diseases have a physical cause, and can be treated with medications or other interventions.
However, this model has several limitations. First, it does not take into account the psychological or social factors that may contribute to an illness. Second, it often relies on tests and procedures that are invasive and/or expensive. Third, it can lead to overtreatment of conditions that may not be harmful. Finally, it can create a sense of separation between patients and their caregivers.
Despite these limitations, the biomedical model remains the most widely used approach to healthcare today. However, it is important for healthcare professionals to recognize its limitations and look for alternative ways of diagnosing and treating illnesses that take into account the whole person rather than just their physical symptoms. By doing so, they can help ensure that patients get the care they need in a compassionate and holistic manner.
The attention is on the illness and not the determinants that caused it and not every illness can be treated. For example; Cancer – improvements have been made but the treatments are not always effective. Most of all, the affordability of the biomedical model is expensive which means not all countries have enough money for the medical technologies and resources that are part of the model of health which is a significant factor contributing to dissimilarity experienced in health status.
The social model of health was established in the late 70’s- 80’s as some members of the society were not feeling equal stages on health as others despite the understanding of the influence of lifestyle and behaviours on health. It is a method that tries to tackle the wider effects on health (social, cultural, environmental and economic factors) rather than disease and injury. It is a regular approach to counteract diseases and illnesses. The emphasis of this approach is on policies, education and health promotion.
The social model of health goes past the focus of lifestyles and behaviour and undertakes the need for social alteration to provide fundamentals for health. A conceptual framework within which enhancement in health and wellbeing are achieved by targeting effort towards addressing the social, economic and environmental determinants of health. The model is centered on the understanding that in order for health gains to happen social determinants and social economics must be tackled. There are 5 key principles surrounding this model.
Firstly, it tackles the wider factors of health such as socioeconomic state, gender, ethnicity and physical environment impacts on behavioural determinants and have a solid relationship with health and are becoming a focus of health promotion strategies. Secondly, it lessens social inequality and aims to encourage equity for all people and to attain this the social determinant which leads to inequality such as gender, socioeconomic status, culture and the physical environment must be tackled.
Thirdly, it authorizes persons and societies with health information meaning they have the capability to make positive choices about their health and partake in healthy behaviour. Fourthly, it gives access to healthcare, which is an important factor that contributes to health status. This social model of health acts to permit all people to have access to health care including cultural and communication barriers, economic and geographical factors and education level.
And the fifth and final principle is inter-sectorial collaboration which is connecting all organisations and people with a mutual interest and who have influence over the social and environmental determinants of health can all the social determinants be sufficiently addressed and affect the health status positively. The advantage of this model is that it educates people to not get the disease and there are government support agencies, for example for vaccinations and it is also less costly to prevent the disease before it happens.
Strengths Of The Biomedical Model
The Biomedical Model has a number of strengths that make it a popular choice for treating patients. First, the model is very reductionist in nature, meaning that it focuses on understanding and treating the individual parts of the body rather than looking at the body as a whole. This approach can be very effective in pinpointing the cause of a problem and developing a treatment plan.
There are a number of strengths to the biomedical model. One key strength is that it provides a clear and concise framework for understanding health and disease. By focusing on the biological causes of illness, the biomedical model can provide crucial insights into how to prevent and treat diseases.
Another strength of the biomedical model is its ability to generate new knowledge through scientific research. By investigating the underlying mechanisms of disease, biomedical researchers can develop new treatments and therapies that can save lives.
Finally, the biomedical model has been extremely successful in improving the overall health of populations. By focusing on preventive care and early diagnosis, the biomedical model has helped to reduce mortality rates and improve quality of life for people all over the world.
While there are many strengths to the biomedical model, it is not without its shortcomings. Some critics argue that the biomedical model focuses too heavily on treating disease at the expense of promoting health and wellness. Additionally, some have raised concerns about the ethical implications of using experimental treatments and technologies in clinical settings.
Despite these challenges, the biomedical model remains an important tool for understanding and treating illness, and will likely continue to play a central role in healthcare moving forward.
It encourages individuals to take responsibility and lead a much healthier lifestyle and improving the quality of life. There is also a community approach that involves all levels of government and non-government organisation and also an increase on economic development of the country as the population is in good health and lead productive lives. However, the disadvantage of this model is that there is a lack of education for the whole population and some people do not get the message and people are not motivated enough, for example, smoking obesity and unhealthy eating.
Another disadvantage is that most people find changing their lifestyle very hard to do and the fact that not all diseases can be cured. Also, the results of this method of health are not evident until after a long period of time and it is difficult to measure its effectiveness. For the general public or the ‘lay person’ health may be just about not being ill as opposed to health professionals where health to them may be ‘freedom from define diseases and disabilities.