Benchmark: Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum. Essay Example

Published: 2023-01-02
Benchmark: Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum. Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare Healthcare policy Public health Human services
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 942 words
8 min read

Currently, there exist several models which are based on health and illness for improved patient care. The concept of health and illness is dynamic as they are impacted by continual evaluation and continued change. The concept of health is regarded as the human situation where perceptions and beliefs of an individual determine their response to the eventual illness or wellness. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the health-illness continuum with its correlation to the situation an individual is going through. That helps to identify the significance of adaptation in maintaining the health and general welfare of an individual.

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Advances in the delivery of healthcare are more focused on illnesses and diseases today, but lesser focus directed towards the health and wellness of a people. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is considered as the state of an individual having complete mental, physical, and social wellness (WHO, 2018). Thus, an individual in proper health is not necessarily one who does not show any presence of infirmity or disease. The definition of health by an individual is a personal matter; hence, they are responsible for determining how they feel which is with regards to the presence or absence of disease. Accordingly, health is to be considered as a human experience holistically, whereby, an individual is in proper health when they feel full of life (Schlinkert & Koole, 2017). Proper decision making is required daily for an individual to realize a state of wellness, such that, the welfare of an individual is their subjective perception, which is plotted on a continuum.

In the 1970s, Dr John Travis developed the Illness-Wellness Continuum to measure an individual's perceived wellness level. At the right end of the continuum represents the high-level of perceived wellness, whereas the low-level of wellness is on the left end. The midpoint of the continuum is a representation of the neutral point such that there is no outright wellness or illness. Characteristically, individuals are perceived to move back and forth throughout the continuum. The traditional healthcare falls at the left end of the midpoint, which is essential in the treatment of a disease state. However, the traditional methods of healthcare can only assist an individual in getting onto the midline of the continuum, after that, it is a personal responsibility to get to the right end of wellness (Becker & McPeck, 2013). Realization of the high-wellness level is characterized by seven dimensions, which include the physical dimension, which mainly includes one's ability to achieve fitness. The Social dimension dictates how an individual develops a relationship in their environment while managing stress. Intellectual dimension determines the potential to learn new skills. The spiritual dimension is the system of belief, which serves to unite people. Occupational dimension comes about through the work-life developed by individuals, whereas the environmental dimension is by the ability of provision of health measures to enhance wellness.

The health status of an individual is affected by several internal and external factors. The internal factors include; age, gender, genetics, psychological concepts, cognitive abilities and among others. Whereas, the external factors are mainly based on the physical environment of a person, such as the living standards, culture, and social bonds. Therefore, it is important to develop an atmosphere which ensures patient care is realized, as that works to bridge the gap between health-illness continuum and the human experience. The objective of the nurses is not merely taking care but to care for the patients under their watch. The proper human experience is characterized by the feeling of being loved, healthy connection, and safety. Development of a proper relationship with the patient is important to achieve health promotion. Therefore, the health-illness continuum proves essential in the promotion of health as provided for in the dimensions of wellness. Following the various dimensions, it becomes comfortable to view the significance of the health-illness continuum in the formation of a proper relationship between the general healthcare team and the patients. During the situation, when the nurses guide the patients in the visualization of their wellness, there is the development of a positive relationship between the two parties. Usually, the developed relationship is characterized by the placement of the patient as the central focus. When the patient is at the centre of focus, the nurse is then able to appeal to their belief systems, preferences, life balance, and the general quality of life.

Based on the reflection of my overall state of health, I am fully aware of the need for proper health and wellness. Some of the factors which facilitate my awareness to health and wellness entail the positive attitude, proper eating habits like the low carbohydrate nutrition to prevent the family cycle of diabetes and coronary heart disease, and undertaking other physical fitness (Karceski, 2014). There are various options and resources to help me move towards wellness, which essentially comes from within. One particular resource available is the resilience to accomplish milestones while maintaining a positive attitude in my undertakings. Moreover, continued acknowledgement of the health-illness continuum enables me to do better, by always fighting for wellness.


Becker, C. & McPeck, W. (2013). Creating Positive Health: It's More Than Risk Reduction. National Wellness Institute Inc. Retrieved from:, S., (2014). Acute Symptomatic Seizures and Systemic Illness. CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning In Neurology, 20, 614-623. doi: 10.1212/01.con.0000450969.61204.6f

Schlinkert, C., & Koole, S. L., (2017). Dealing With Life Demands: Action-State OrientationModerates the Relation Between Demanding Conditions and Drops in Body Vitality.Modern Science. Vol. 4. No. 2. American Psychological Association. DOI: (2018). Constitution of WHO: Principles. World Health Organization. Retrieved from:

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