Human health is a wonderfully dynamic area of medicine because it encompasses so many sub-specialisations, it is forever changing as patients move through various phases of health from poor to complete health in the space of days, weeks, months, years and one can even transition between different health states in just a matter of a single consultation with a doctor.
There has been an evolution in the definition of health over the years. Early definitions in keeping with biomedical traditions of medicine focused on just the functionality of the body and how it is amenable to disturbances during disease states/illness. Then, in 1948 the WHO (World Health Organisation) radically altered the definition and stated that health is the complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (a biopsychosocial model)1. This definition was initially heavily acclaimed and hailed as an innovative approach to defining the aim doctors should strive to achieve for their patients and although it seems complete and thorough, the inclusion criteria is seen to be somewhat broad, vague and immeasurable. In accordance with such a definition few people around the world would be regarded as completely healthy. Furthermore, adhering to such a definition could potentially incentivise the healthcare system2. Huber’s definition of health coined in 2011, went a long way to finding the appropriate conceptualisation of health and is still key in today’s healthcare practices. It involved a more dynamic approach with the fundamental theme being resilience, more specifically the capacity for a patient to absorb disturbance and re-organise, to maintain and restore one’s integrity and identity3. Impact of Loneliness on Human Health and Well-being Essay