World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a ' state of completes physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
It is a state in which a person' s physical, emotional, intellectual, social or spiritual functioning is diminished or impaired.
Health - illness continuum:
Health is a dynamic state that fluctuates as a person adapts to changes in the internal and external environments to maintain a state of wellbeing. As health and illness are relative qualities existing in varying degrees, it is more accurate to consider health and illness in terms of a scale or continuum, rather than a absolute state.
Variables influencing health beliefs and practices :-
Developmental stage :- A person ' s thought and behaviour patterns change throughout life.
Intellectual background: Knowledge about body functions and illnesses, educational background and past experiences, all influence the health beliefs and practice of patients.
Emotional and spiritual factors :
The patient ' s degree of calm or stress can influence health beliefs and practices. Spiritual beliefs also influence whether and how a patient seeks or avoids healthy behaviour.
2. External variables
Family practices - The way that patient' s families use health care services, their perceptions of the seriousness of diseases and their preventative care behaviours can influence the health beliefs and practice.
Socioeconomic factors-Social relationships, economic
level and psychosocial factors influence health beliefs and practice.
Cultural background -It influences beliefs, values and customs. It influences the approach to the health care system, personal health practices and nurse-patient relationship.
Factors affecting a patient' s health status:
3. Alcohol use
4. Habituating drug use
7. Sexuality and contraceptive use
8. Family relationships
9. Risk factor modification
10. Coping and adaptation.
Impact of illness on patient and family :
Impact of illness on patient
Short - term and minor illnesses awoke few behavioural changes in the functioning of the patient or family. Severe illness can lead to more extensive emotional and behavioral changes such as anxiety, shock, denial, anger and withdrawal.
Impact on family roles
When an illness occurs, the role of patients and family may change. This change may be subtle and short term or drastic and long term. The patient and family require specific counseling and guidance to assist them in coping with the role changes during illness.