The social models of health are theories that describe the medical conditions affecting people (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). It determines the environmental and external factors which cause disease with the aim of gaining control of the issue before it escalates to the worst part. Theories developed in health program provide more knowledge and explanation on how to handle health issues as well as prevent the spread of disease. According to the World Health Organization (2010), the social model of health and illness allow health practitioners have a deep understanding on the causes of a particular medical condition and the probability of the issue affecting a large number of people if not controlled within the right time. The relationship between society and their health wellbeing determines the social characteristics as well as more knowledge on how to deal with medical issues on time (Glanz, 2015). One of the assumptions made in social models is that health of individuals determines their social-economic position. This is because people value health than anything in their lives and is willing and ready to spend large amounts of resources so that they can gain a stable state of health in their lives. Sorensen et al. (2012) argue that the health literacy levels of a community determine the level of control that individuals have towards their wellbeing. It is the ability to know the relationship that exists between health and other social capacities.
Some of the social capacities that determine the accessibility to quality health care include the income levels and economic strength (Rydin et al., 2012). An individual with sound economic power will be in a position to afford quality healthcare services. The social model of health contributes to our understanding of diseases through our environmental, cultural, social, and economic status (Buunk, Gibbons, & Buunk, 2013). An individual with more economic power is in a position to afford quality healthcare services in case they need medical attention. The quality services they access allow them to have enough time with the medical practitioners who can provide them with more information about their health status (Painter et al., 2008). On the other hand, an individual who has limited economic power will have no option but attend public healthcare facilities that do not offer quality services. The amount of time such patients spend with the doctors is limited since the practitioner has to attend to many patients (Lohoar, Butera, & Kennedy, 2014).
Individuals who have low incomes are most likely to die younger if they suffer from health conditions that require more funds to treat since they do not access quality healthcare facilities. When a patient has an understanding of the medical condition they have, they will be in a position to manage the situation with ease (Solar & Irwin, 2010). For instance, two patients from different economic backgrounds, where both have been diagnosed with diabetes will need to take care of their health so that they can live a meaningful life. The patient from a strong economic background will be in a position to afford quality healthcare services and attend their clinics on time when compared to the individual who comes from a place where resources are limited (Luca & Suggs, 2013). Management of the medical condition becomes easy for one of the patients since they have the means to access quality services from better healthcare facilities (Eime et al., 2013). Coping with the medical condition becomes easy, and there is a high probability of the patient from a strong economic background to live a longer life than the other one.
The sociological perception towards health and illnesses lies in the interaction a society has with their health wellbeing. It is a study on how the social activities in life affect the accessibility to quality healthcare among individuals of a certain community. Geia, Hayes, & Usher (2011) argue that traditions, beliefs, and customs people identify with may limit or promote their knowledge about health. In addition, the knowledge an individual possesses about their body may have a direct impact on the perception towards health. Therefore, when an individual is aware of how their body functions, they will be willing and ready to seek medical attention within a short-time if they feel anything unusual (McEwen, 2012; Minkler & Wallerstein, 2012). Medical experts must approach community members in a bid to educate them on the need to have proper medical care on a regular basis as it affects the quality of life individuals live on a daily basis (Sallis, Owen, & Fisher, 2015). In the case of a patient who has diabetes, there is need to have proper mechanisms in place where such an individual can access medical attention at any time. Therefore, a healthcare facility must be well-equipped to cater for such patients in common clinical observations and emergencies.
According to Craig, Eby, & Whittington (2011), coordination in the healthcare facilities is important as it enables practitioners to provide health services to patients on time and within the necessary framework. It also helps in meeting the social needs of a community that requires constant medical attention. Members of society achieve high levels of medical attention irrespective of their economic strengths (Glanz, 2015; Glanz, Reimer, & Viswanath, 2008). The psychological well-being of patients is important as it helps them recover from the medical conditions within a short-time. Service providers assure patients that with proper care and attention, they will be in a position to manage the medical condition and live meaningful lives (Nutbeam, Harris, & Wise, 2010).
Another sociological explanation on how social models of health and illness contribute to our understanding of diseases is in the willpower and commitment of individuals to gain knowledge (Jetten, Haslam, & Alexander, 2012). Most people from an economically challenged background are no committed to extracting information about their well-being. Most of the individuals are on the lookout for ways in which they can sustain their lives by engaging in income-generating projects. On the other hand, people with an unlimited income are willing to invest in knowledge about their health and how they can manage the conditions so that they can live a longer life. Johnson (2011) argues that low-income earners are most likely to suffer from stigma since the area they live does not have enough knowledge and accessibility to quality healthcare services. Individuals from such backgrounds are more likely to die within a short time due to ignorance and perceptions towards health. However, with proper medical intervention programs, it is possible to restore the health of individuals within a short-time. The most important thing is to have patients have some form of commitment towards learning about the medical condition they have.
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