The health care continuum is an integrated system that gives guidance to patients and tracks their health conditions over time. Supervision ensures patients have good health that is a balance in the physical, mental, and social state. Good health is central to human happiness and well-being, and the health of the nation contributes to the prosperity and economic progress. A balanced diet, exercise, and strong relationships with family and friends can help people reach good health. This paper discusses the concept of the health-illness continuum and its relevance to patient care in the health sector.
Relevance of Health-illness Continuum
The health care continuum promotes preventive treatment, which is essential in enhancing improved health before an individual develops sickness. The sick, when aware of common signs and symptoms of various diseases, can visit the health facilities for treatment. Educating people on the risk factors helps them prevent diseases and premature death. Therefore, educating the public about the causes and prevention of diseases reduces new cases of sicknesses. Making individuals aware of how to deal with diseases is important in promoting health. People with disabilities can be treated as others to avoid discrimination, hence, enabling them to live normal lives.
The continuum is comprised of two arrows facing in opposite directions and meet at a point of no discernable illness. The right side follows a process of awareness, education, and growth leading to high-level wellness (Goldberg, 2021). The left side starts with signs, symptoms, and disability leading to premature death. The concept mainly assumes that wellness is a dynamic and not an inactive process. For an individual to acquire stable health, they must go through the stages of awareness, education, and growth. It is important to consider this continuum since it enables the health care service provider to know the states of the patients. This will facilitate earlier treatment to avoid the worsening of the conditions they suffer from.
By conducting a physical examination of the patients, the health personnel can obtain information about their health status. Through understanding, the health continuum can promote the value and dignity of patients. The most important factor when handling patients is the direction that the person is facing in the paradigm. If it is towards the high level of health, a person has a positive outlook about their life, and the opposite direction is usually characterized by harmful habits and health perceptions. This paradigm is handy, and it will enable me to give valuable guidance to patients and help them become optimistic with their statuses.
I am suffering from an obesity condition, making my health state unstable. At the moment, I am at the symptomatic stage in the wellness paradigm, and I face various difficulties. I experience fatigue, shortness of breath, pain, especially in the back and joints, and excessive weight. These sensations make me feel uncomfortable, especially the shortness of breath, which sometimes leads to dizziness and danger of loss of consciousness. My health is influenced by various habits, such as eating foods with heavy and saturated fats, limited physical activity, and overeating. I like eating sugary foods, like queen cakes and sweets, which contribute to high sugar levels, increasing the risk of related health conditions like diabetes, and heart disease.
For me to move towards high-level wellness, I have a variety of choices to make. Foods rich in fiber like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits will be included in my diet. I will also use medications such as topiramate to control my health condition. Since I need to exercise, I will go to the gym to lose weight. Community health care programs that educate on better health conditions will be used in the treatment plan. I can also use online resources to research and know more about how to manage the condition. Lastly, I will make a habit of visiting the hospital for regular checkups and further treatment.
Adhering to the practices above will enable me to manage obesity. Eating foods rich in fiber prevents constipation and helps waste to move freely in the body. Waste accumulations can bring about other health disorders which might lead to death. To lose weight and prevent overweight in the future, I will eat at regular intervals. Additionally, upon consulting on the possible conditions which might occur due to obesity, I will know how to avoid them. Getting educated on how to live positively with this condition will be important to me.
The health-illness continuum is relevant as it plays a major role in tracking a patient’s signs and symptoms. Through this, necessary precautions can be made to curb further effects that can occur due to diabetes. This concept is relevant to health care professionals as it enables them to treat patients with dignity and care. The continuum illustrates high-level wellness, which starts from awareness, education, and growth. On the other hand, the premature death process begins with the signs, symptoms, and then disability. Most importantly, preventive treatment is critical and is better than post-factum cure.
Goldberg, J. (2021). Health-illness transition experiences among patients with pancreatic cancer (Ph.D.). The Graduate Center, City University of New York.