Changing Perspective Toward Health And Illness Essay

1848 Words8 Pages
Over past 150 years, the world has witnessed changes in environment, society and people’s lifestyle that alter human disease patterns and distribution. Leading causes of death shift from infectious to chronic diseases (Tulchinsky & Varavikova, 2009). To effectively tackle new health issues, changing perspective toward health and illness is required (Engel, 1977). In this assignment, transition from biomedical model to the social models in response to changes in health trend will first be discussed and followed by the application of social models to explain the high rates of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in New Zealand (NZ).

Urbanisation and industrialisation in 1990s led to overcrowding and poor sanitation resulting in the spread of cholera, TB, typhoid, influenza, and malaria. These infectious diseases were the main cause of mortality rate during that time (Tulchinsky & Varavikova, 2009). After WWII, there was a rapid fall in global mortality rates due to improved public health standard that curtailed, if not eradicated various infectious diseases (Browne, 2005).

The improved longevity was very obvious especially in developed countries, for example, U.S. population life span was 47 years in 1900s but had reached 77 years by the end of the 20th century (Stien, 2008). This was accompanied by an “epidemiological transition” to new patterns and distribution of disease, from infectious to chronic, degenerative diseases such as cancer, RHD,
Get Access