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Health measurement

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2010.25070    5,056 Downloads   9,718 Views   Citations


Jamaicans are not atypical in how they conceptualize health and/or how they address patient care as the antithesis of diseases or dysfunctions (i.e. health conditions). In the 1900s and earlier, Western Societies were using the biomedical model in the measurement and trea- tment of health, health attitudes and the utilization of health services. This approach emphasizes sickness, dysfunction, and the identification of symptomology or medical disorders to evaluate health and health care. Such an approach places significance on the end (i.e. genetic and physical conditions), instead of the multiplicity of factors that are likely to result in the existing state, or issues outside of the space of dysfunctions. Notwithstanding the limitations of the biomedical approach, it is still practiced by many Caribbean societies, and this is fundamentally the case in Jamaica. The current paper is an examination of health measurement, and provides at the same time a rationale for the need to have a more representative model as opposed to the one-dimensional approach of using pathogens in measuring health. Owing to the importance of health in development, patient care and its significance for other areas in society, this paper seeks to broaden more than just the construct, as it goes to the core of modern societies in helping them to understand the constitution of health and how patient care should be treated. Thus, it provides a platform for the adoption of the biopsychosocial model, which integrates biological, social, cultural, psychological and environmental conditions in the assessment of health and the outcome of research, by using observational survey data.

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The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Bourne, P. (2010) Health measurement. Health, 2, 465-476. doi: 10.4236/health.2010.25070.


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