Page 10 - Management Theory 2023-2024 Edition
P. 10                                                                  Krisman

                                           3. Illness, Sickness and Disease

            According to Eliot Freidson, illness is described as:

            “One is immediately obligated to distinguish between illness as a purely biophysical state and illness as a human,
            social state. Illness as a biophysical state involves changes in bones, tissues, or vital fluids of any living organism.
            Illness as a social state involves changes in behavior that occur only among humans and that may vary with the

            A distinction between illness and disease:

            Illness is defined by laymen as a reaction to perceived biological alteration while disease is defined by physicians,
            and for that reason, it is perceived to be a more precise term. The following sentences may help an individual to
            distinguish illness from a disease.

            1.     A person may have a disease and not be ill.
            2.     A person may be ill and not have a disease.
            3.     Both disease and illness may be present.

            To  understand  more  precisely,  we  can  take  the  following  example.  Hypertension  is  a  disease  that  has  been
            defined by healthcare professionals as a combination of diastolic and systolic blood pressures outside “normal”
            limits.  Now,  it  may  be  possible  that  a  person  with  the  disease  of  hypertension  may  be  asymptomatic,  and
            therefore not ill. And, as not being ill, this person may not seek care. An opposite of this can also be true. A
            person  who  experiences  dizziness  or  headaches  may  perceive  himself  or  herself  as  ill,  seek  care  and  be
            diagnosed as disease-free.

            Practically,  both  these  differences  may  have  serious  outcomes:  failure  to  receive  needed  care  in  the  first
            instance and a possible waste of medical resources in the second.

            A definition of sickness:

            Sickness is defined as a social state conferred on an individual by others. It is socially defined by sociologists.

            According to Bezold, the state of health is determined by the interaction of the following variables:

            1.     Biology (e.g. generic determinants)
            2.     Behavior (e.g. smoking, drug abuse, eating habits)
            3.     Pre and post environments (including physical, biological, economical, and social)
            4.     The healthcare system

            Types of Behaviors

            There are three types of health-related behaviors:

            1.     Health Behavior
            2.     Illness Behavior
            3.     Sick Role Behavior

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