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Unit 3 AOS1 Health of Australians
Transcript of Unit 3 AOS1 Health of Australians
What is health?
Health is a term that is used regularly in everyday life yet is often not completely understood. To be able to make judgements about the levels of health being experienced by individuals, groups or populations, a thorough understanding of this concept is essential.
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In this area of study students develop understanding of the health status of Australians by investigating the burden of disease and the health of population groups in Australia. Students use key health measures to compare health in Australia and analyse how determinants of health, including the physical environment, biological, behavioural and social, contribute to variations in health status.
What does health mean for you?
Measures of Health
Health and human development unit 3 area of study 1
In your workbook, write down as many words that you can think of that you associate with what it means to be HEALTHY
.... 60 seconds only... GO!
Compare this list of words with the people sitting around you.
What did you have in common? What was different?
Choose words to add to a class list on the whiteboard
There has been wide debate about the meaning of health since the first commonly accepted definition was released by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1946:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
This definition was significant because it was the first time that health had been considered as being more than physical health. However, it is still limiting because it doesn’t give everyone the opportunity to be considered healthy. Complete wellbeing in all three dimensions (physical, mental and social) is difficult and beyond the capacity of most people. However, this definition is still recognised as the accepted definition by the World Health Organization and is the one referred to in this course.
The WHO definition recognises health as being a state of physical, social and mental wellbeing. This is a key word for gaining an accurate understanding of what health is. As well as being a state, health is also dynamic. Health can be good one moment and then events such as accidents, illness, relationship breakdown and stressful events can alter the state of health very quickly. Health also has the potential to improve quickly. A person with a migraine who is experiencing poor health can rest and possibly take medication that can return them to good health.
Optimal health refers to the best level of health an individual can realistically attain. Everyone is born with different genetics and in different environments. As a result of these and other factors, every person’s level of optimal health is different.
Health status refers to ‘an individual’s or a population’s overall health, taking into account various aspects such as life expectancy, amount of disability and levels of disease risk factors’ (AIHW, 2008). Health status can be thought of as a continuum
For individuals, health status can change rapidly. The position of an individual’s health on the continuum depends on their current circumstances.
Their health status may be different for each dimension of health (physical, social and mental), although each dimension of health interrelates with and impacts on the other two dimensions
Dimensions of health
According to the WHO definition, health is a combination of the physical, social and mental dimensions.
The physical dimension of health is often the focus of individuals, groups, government and non-government organisations.
Most statistics relating to health also tend to focus on the physical dimension of health.
However, it is important to remember that the physical dimension of health is only one part of being healthy, and the social and mental dimensions must be taken into account if we are to get an understanding of the overall health experienced by individuals or groups.
The body and its components are the focus of physical health.
Physical health is defined as ‘the efficient functioning of the body and its systems, and includes the physical capacity to perform tasks and physical fitness’ (VCAA, 2012).
- the absence or presence of disease, injury and disability,
- the operation of the body’s systems
Simply ‘not being sick’ is perhaps the most basic level of physical health, but there are many other aspects of physical health. A person may be free from disease and injury, but may not have enough energy to complete the tasks they need to. They may be unfit or overweight, all of which relate to physical health. It is only when the whole body and its systems are functioning to the best of their ability that a person can be considered as having optimal physical health.
Is this healthy?
What about this?
What about this?
Social health is defined as ‘being able to interact with others and participate in the community in both an independent and cooperative way’ (VCAA, 2013). The quality of relationships that individuals have with others is a key aspect of social health.
According to the World Health Organization, mental health is defined as a ‘state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.’ Mental health relates to the current state of the mind, how a person is feeling about themselves and how they deal with situations in which they find themselves.
interactions of the dimensions of health
The three dimensions of health affect each other and therefore interrelate.
When someone experiences optimal health in one of the dimensions, they are more likely to experience optimal health in the other dimensions.
Imagine a person who is physically healthy. They would have the energy to be socially active, and they may feel good about the state of their body and the relationships they have with friends and family. Their confidence may be high as a result of their social interactions, and levels of stress and anxiety may be low.
Now imagine a person who is not physically healthy. They may be confined to bed, not able to eat, have a fever, vomiting, diarrhoea or even be in hospital. Their social health may be poor at this time as they may not have the energy or desire to socialise. They may feel depressed about their current situation.
These examples illustrate just two ways that the three dimensions of health interrelate. This does not mean that they will move along the continuum at exactly the same time and to the same degree, but changes in one dimension will produce changes in the other two.
Task: Complete "Case Study Review - Rachael's Health"
Task 1: Complete
Test and Apply Your Knowledge 1.1
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Class resources are accessible on Schoology.
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Complete CH1 Activity
Referring to your text book for additional info, create a
of the dimensions of health
Extension activity: linking the dimensions of health
You may work in small groups for this task.
Complete the questions responding to the case example you have been allocated (A, B or C).
It may be helpful to draw a concept map highlighting possible links.
You will be required to share your responses with your peers :)
Rachael is a 26-year-old lawyer who works in a large corporation in the city. She has many responsibilities and generally copes with these very well. Recently, she was given a large contract to work on. The demands of the contract are substantial and her work life has begun to dominate her free time as well as her working hours. She has been feeling the stress associated with such a large responsibility and has not been sleeping adequately. Rachael has also found that she has had to cut back on her social activities and other things she enjoys such as going to the gym and cooking.
Case study review
1. Identify one example from Rachael’s story that represents physical health, social health and mental health.
2. For each dimension of health, identify where Rachael’s health might sit on a continuum and justify your response.
3. How have the dimensions of health interrelated in Rachael’s case?
4. To what extent would changes in Rachael’s health affect the health status of the whole Australian population?
There are a number of statistics or health indicators that give information on the health status of groups and populations. The health indicators examined are:
burden of disease
Life expectancy is defined as ‘an indication of how long a person can expect to live; it is the number of years of life remaining to a person at a particular age if death rates do not change’ (AIHW, 2008).
Life expectancy figures most commonly relate to a baby born at the present time. If life expectancy figures relate to a person of a different age, it will be specified in the data. A baby born in Australia at the present time can expect to live (on average) to more than 80 years of age
Although an important health indicator, life expectancy doesn’t give any indication of the quality of life being experienced; it is based on
A measurement that considers life expectancy data and quality of life is
health adjusted life expectancy or HALE
(often simply referred to as ‘healthy life expectancy’).
This refers to the number of years lived without reduced functioning (including mobility and the operation of body systems) due to ill health and is therefore an indicator of quality of life.
Case study review
"Short Lived" Christina Larmer, The Herald Sun, 31st December 2006
1. List as many factors as you can that may have contributed to the increase in life expectancy experienced from 1901 to the present.
2. Why has the rate of obesity increased in recent years?
3. a) If you were in charge of trying to ensure Australia’s life expectancy continues to increase, what factors would you consider need the most attention? Justify your response.
b) How would you go about encouraging people to make healthy choices?
4. Would those who are obese be more or less likely to also be smokers? Explain your answer.
Test your knowledge 1.2
How healthy do you think Australia is?
have a go estimating Australias life expectancy for men and women....
In your workbook, identify 2 trends from this graph.
Why is there a difference between LE and HALE?
Mortality refers to deaths in the population. The mortality rate is therefore the number of deaths (usually expressed per 100 000 people, in a 12-month period) from a specific cause or all causes.
why might this sort of info be useful?
Over time, this information allows trends in deaths to be identified.
These trends can guide governments and other organisations in developing and funding strategies that attempt to reduce mortality rates from the leading causes of death (or those that have an increasing mortality rate).
Identify one program you can think of that may have been informed by data like this
Morbidity ‘refers to ill health in an individual and the levels of ill health in a population or group’ (AIHW, 2008). Therefore, the morbidity rate is a measure of how many people suffer from a particular condition during a given period of time. Morbidity rates can look at
(the number or rate of new cases of a disease during a specified time, usually a 12-month period) or
(the total number of people experiencing a condition at a given time)
Mortality data can also be collected for particular age or population groups, or for geographical areas. Some examples of these mortality measures include:
under-five mortality rate (U5MR)
The U5MR measures the number of children that die before their fifth birthday, usually expressed per 1000 live births.
infant mortality rate
The infant mortality rate measures the rate of deaths of infants between birth and their first birthday, usually expressed per 1000 live births.
maternal mortality ratio
The maternal mortality ratio is the rate of deaths of women who are either pregnant or in the first 42 days after giving birth or having a termination, expressed per 100 000 live births.
The causes of death in Australia have changed markedly over the past century. Developments have been made with regards to the economy, technology and education. As a result, many diseases that were common causes of death 100 years ago, such as influenza and tuberculosis, cause relatively few deaths these days. This has helped to prolong life and give most Australians the opportunity to achieve optimal health. As people live longer they are more likely to suffer from lifestyle-related illnesses. Diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers and diabetes have emerged as the leading causes of death in Australia. These are shown in table 1.2. When analysing these figures it is important to remember that they are based on all deaths. As older people account for the majority of deaths in Australia, the causes of their deaths are the ones most likely to appear in these figures.
Trends in mortality
How Healthy are Australians?
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As mortality rates have fallen, morbidity rates for many causes have increased.
As people are living longer, there is more time for a range of determinants to have a negative impact on health. There have also been increases in conditions such as obesity that result in an increased rate of associated conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.
Even though the rates of some of these conditions have increased, there are other, non-life threatening conditions that affect many more people, such as arthritis and osteoporosis.
incidence & prevalence
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Burden of disease
Burden of disease statistics combine morbidity and mortality figures and therefore focus on the total burden that a particular condition places on society.
The unit for burden of disease data is the
disability adjusted life year or DALY
(pronounced ‘dally’), where one DALY is the equivalent of one healthy year of life lost due to premature death or through living with a disease or disability.
If 1000 DALYs were lost due to asthma in a population, it means that 1000 years of healthy life have been lost as a result of premature death or by people suffering from the condition who experienced a reduced quality of life.
If 2000 DALYs were lost due to mental illness in the same population, it means that
mental illness was twice the burden of asthma.
YLL= Years of life lost
(YLL) are the fatal component of DALYs. Each YLL represents one year of life lost due to premature death. YLL can be calculated for any condition that causes premature death. The younger a person is when they die from a condition, the greater the number of YLL will be added for that condition. If life expectancy is 80 and a person dies from cancer at 60, then 20 years of life have been lost.
YLD = Years lost due to disability (YLD)
are the non-fatal component of DALYs. A complex formula is used to calculate YLD because conditions vary in their severity. For example, Alzheimer’s disease generally has a greater impact on a person’s life than asthma, and this needs to be considered when calculating YLD. Because the formula used to calculate YLD takes such considerations into account, it is possible to make more accurate comparison. If a person suffers from a disease for 10 years that makes them only ‘half well’, then they have lost 5 ‘healthy’ years due to this condition.