The Biopsychosocial Model Of Health Essay

1830 words - 7 pages

Firstly, as a GP, it is crucial to explore the biopsychosocial model of health. One must realise that biological, psychological and social factors all contribute to a person’s overall health. The social dimension cannot be ignored in Anne’s case. According to the World Health Organisation, the social determinants of health are ‘the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.’ (World Health Organisation. 2013) From the information provided, one could suggest that various social factors have contributed to Anne’s obesity. Anne grew up in a deprived area of the inner city. Growing up in a deprived area does not directly cause obesity, however, social determinants are known as causes of the causes of ill health. (WMA. 2011) Obesity can be caused by consuming too many calories, leading a sedentary lifestyle and not sleeping enough. (Christian Nordqvist. 2011) These, in turn, could be referred to as consequences of living in the inner city. Studies have shown that ‘inner city parents have high levels of anxiety about neighbourhood safety. While these concerns may not entirely explain the discrepancy in activity levels between inner city and suburban children, a safe environment is crucial to increasing opportunities for physical activity.’ (Weir, L.A., Etelson, D. & Brand, D.A. 2006) Similarly, it is possible that Anne’s socio-economic status has influenced her smoking since a person below the poverty threshold is more likely than somebody at or above the threshold to be both a current smoker and not to have quit. (Flint, A.J. & Novotny, T.E. 1997)
Ideally, a GP would like to promote good health and prevent disease. Anne’s children are at high risk of becoming diabetic, given that they are obese. I would do blood and urine tests and advise the family about lifestyle changes necessary to improve their health. Neglecting to acknowledge the social factors affecting their health would be a huge mistake when giving this advice. It is important to recognise that Anne cannot control all of the factors that may be negatively impacting on her health. She is living in a local authority housing estate in a disadvantaged area of the inner city and given that ‘the highest rates of obesity occur among population groups with the highest poverty rates and the least education’ (Adam Drewnowski and SE Specter 2013) one could claim that relocating would be a possible solution. Clearly this would be an unrealistic plan. So too would the notion of buying gym membership for 3 people. So as her GP, I would encourage her to keep a food diary for a week so I could see the amount of calories the family consumed and see their eating habits, to go for a walk every evening with her children and give her brochures with easy recipes for healthy meals.
Anne also needs to be made aware of complications associated with childhood obesity. Having excess weight makes both adults and children susceptible to heart disease, type 2 diabetes and many other conditions....

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