Compare And Contrast Biomedical And Social Model

1650 Words 7 Pages
Health can be defined from different perspectives, thus leading to wide and varied meanings of health, biomedical and social models are used to elucidate the views of ill-health. This paper will firstly compare and contrast between biomedical and social models. Secondly, it will discuss how and why the social model has become more applicable over the last fifteen decades. Consequently, its effectiveness in expounding high incidences of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in New Zealand (NZ) will be scrutinised.
The biomedical model narrows the definition of health into the absence of irregularity of the body whereas social models, for example the Biopsychosocial model, have broader determinants of health which include
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The biomedical model advocates that ARF is caused by an auto-immune response towards a pharyngeal infection with Group A Streptococcus (GAS) bacteria. The symptoms of ARF include fever, painful-cum-inflamed joints and sore throat. If left untreated, it will scar the valves of the heart resulting in permanent damage to the heart, known as RHD, which could lead to premature death (HFNZ, 2014). The biomedical model focuses on combating GAS with a full course of antibiotics, whereas RHD will be treated by replacing the damaged heart valves with artificial ones surgically (HFNZ, 2014). In this context, this is the limit the biomedical model can effectively explain ARF/RHD as it works proximally, relying on drugs and surgeries, considering only the biomolecular roots, without any attempts in preventing first attacks and eradicating the disease through distal social …show more content…
Bad housing conditions, such as dampness and overcrowding, are more prevalent in low income and low socioeconomic groups (Baker & Howden-Chapman, 2003). Dampness occurs in overcrowded houses which lack appropriate heating, ventilation and insulation, and the moisture is optimal for the breeding of GAS (Institute of Medicine, 2004), which lead to the significant increase in the incidence of ARF as reported by New Zealand Guideline Group [NZGG] (2011). It was reported that the number of ARF cases increase by almost 50% during late autumn and early winter, when the dampness increases due to the weather (Jaine et al., 2008). Looking into overcrowding, even though it is not a direct cause of ARF, social models acknowledge that people living in overcrowded rooms, especially for those that are poor and socially deprived, are more likely to be affected with ARF since GAS is an airborne bacteria, and doing activities together in a crowded confined space would significantly compound the risk. ARF rates for the most crowded quintile (9.6 per 100,000) was 23 times higher than then the rate of the least crowded quintile. In 2006, it was reported that 17% of children below the age of 15 lived in a crowded environment, linking to the aforementioned fact that the 9-14 age group is the highest group of ARF victims. An initiative called Healthy Housing NZ which aims to

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