Health Sciences & Medicine
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Some health workers and authorities extend this definition to having the ability to adapt or respond to changing environments, to growing up, healing when injured, and facing death peacefully. While many still believe the importance of harmony between the body, the mind, environment and community (Engel, 1980).


Concepts of disease and illness are changing. Disease is said to be a social contract which is established only after all parties concerned agree to the presence of such condition while illness is often described as a subjective experience which means that it is an account of a person regarding the state of his/her health (Robinson, 1971).
Disease and illness concepts are constructed based on different personal, familial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds but it is the universal experience of feeling ill which drives an individual seek medical and other kinds of assistance (Engel, 1980).
Across cultures, ethnicities and or religion, there is a consistent view of illness as a detachment from the dynamic interaction between the self and the external world. There is also a perceived breakdown of balance in the person's system (Robinson, 1971).
In the context of modern medicine, disease or illness is defined as a state of imbalance or disorder of a person's health caused by pathological microorganisms, genetics, pollution, malnutrition, stress and other psychological problems. This state is manifested through symptoms which are actually changes in the structure and function of the body. Symptoms come in the form of pain, abscess, swelling, dizziness, and collapse of organ or body parts (West Bar Surgery, 2005).
In general pr ...
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