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Is Healthcare A Social Issue?

Is Healthcare A Social Issue
Healthcare is full of social issues for both the healthcare provider and for the client. A social issue in this lesson will be defined as a health issue that each patient will have to evaluate based on his or her values, beliefs, and unique situation.

What is considered a social issue?

Social issues are topics or subjects that impact many people. They often reflect current events but also represent longstanding problems or disagreements that are difficult to solve. Beliefs, opinions, and viewpoints can be strong, and debate on these topics is a natural outcome of public discourse.

What is the sociological issue of health?

Health Quiz – Teste dein Wissen – Question What is the definition of ‘sociology of health’? Show answer Answer “The sociology of health focuses on applying sociological perspectives and methods while studying the health issues of human societies. Its major focus is on the sociocultural perspective related to human health and illness.” Show question Question What is the WHO definition of mental health? Show answer Answer Mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes 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 Show question Question What is the sociology of health also referred to as? Show answer Question The sociology of health studies the relationship between which of the following? A: Medical institutions B: Medical staff C: Human health issues D: Society E: Models of health and illness Show answer Question According to medical sociologists, which social factors affect human health? Show answer Answer Social factors that affect human health include race, gender, sexuality, social class, and region.

Show question Question Name the three major sociological perspectives Show answer Answer In sociology, three major theoretical perspectives exist, functionalist, symbolic interactionist, and conflict perspective Show question Question What is the social construction of health? Show answer Answer The social construction of health is an important research topic in the sociology of health.

It states that many aspects of health and illness are socially constructed. Show question Question Briefly explain how cultural stigmas and perceptions affect illness. Show answer Answer While diseases and disabilities exist biologically, some are considered ‘worse’ than others due to cultural stigmas and perceptions.

The stigmatisation of illness can prevent patients from receiving the best care they need. In some cases, patients may not seek medical treatment at all. Show question Question How is the experience of illness socially constructed? Show answer Answer Some people may feel defined by their long-term illness, whilst others may be able to broaden their experiences.

Culture can heavily influence how patients experience illnesses. Show question Question Why is it claimed that medical knowledge is socially constructed? Show answer Answer Although diseases are not socially constructed, medical knowledge is. This is because it is changing all the time, and does not apply equally to everyone regardless of race, gender, age, social class, and sexuality.

Beliefs about illnesses and pain tolerance, among other things, can lead to inequalities in medical access and treatment. Show question Question What is the name given to non-medical factors that affect health? Show answer Answer Non-medical factors that affect health are called social determinants of health.

Show question Question The article looks at the social distribution of health across which three social groups? Show answer Answer Social class, gender, and ethnicity Show question Question One explanation for health inequalities between men and women is that women are more likely to smoke, and drink above the recommended alcohol intake.

  • True or false? Show answer Answer False.
  • Men are more likely than women to smoke, although more women have started to smoke in recent years.
  • Women are also less likely to drink alcohol at all, or drink above the recommended alcohol intake.
  • Show question Question An explanation for health inequalities between social classes suggests that, amongst other factors, working-class people cannot afford healthy food, gym memberships, and private healthcare.

Is this an example of a cultural or structural explanation? Show answer Question Which group is less likely to suffer from common mental health issues than other ethnic minority groups? Show answer Answer People of African-Caribbean origin. Show question Question According to the World Health Organization, what is health? Show answer Answer Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

  • Show question Question What does the Sociology of Health study? Show answer Answer The relationship between human health issues, medical institutions, and society through sociological theories and research methods.
  • The sociology of health is interested in social factors that affect human health, such as race, gender, sexuality, social class, and region.

It also studies the structures and processes in healthcare and medical institutes and their impact on health issues and patterns. Show question Question What is the Holistic concept of health in sociology? Show answer Answer The word holistic means wholeness, and holistic health means all perspectives included.

To get a complete picture, not only the individuals but also the societal and cultural factors are essential. Show question Question Was it a common misconception among some medical professionals that Black people were biologically wired to feel less pain than white people? Show answer Question What did the ‘Inequalities in Health Working Group Report’ (1980) find? Show answer Answer The poorer a person is, the less likely they are to be healthy.

Show question Question What is the role of sociology in public health? Show answer Answer In Public Health, sociology can help to understand the definitions, prevalence, causes, and associated perspectives of diseases and illnesses Show question

What are the social issues in the community?

What is a community problem? – Problems can arise in any part of a community and come from any aspect of community life. There’s a long list of nominees, and you probably know some of the main contenders. Can you name the leading problems in your community? Chances are you can at least start the list.

What is health issues?

Health issue occurs when the normal metabolism of the body failed or altered due to pollutant, pathogen or other means that cause health problem which are considered as disease. Sometimes these issues could be genetic, in which the patient might inherit the disease causing gene from their parents.

What are 5 example of social issues?

Poverty, unemployment, unequal opportunity, racism, and malnutrition are examples of social problems. So are substandard housing, employment discrimination, and child abuse and neglect. Crime and substance abuse are also examples of social problems.

Is mental health a social issue?

Mental Health and Social Relationships – Poor mental health influences people’s relationships with their children, spouses, relatives, friends, and co-workers. Often, poor mental health leads to problems such as social isolation, which disrupts a person’s communication and interactions with others.

This can have particularly harmful effects on children and adolescents whose development depends on forming bonds with their family members and peers. In adulthood, this social isolation can lead to family breakdown, divorce, or even childhood neglect. Mental health problems frequently put financial and emotional strain on families.

For example, a family trying to address a child’s mental illness may exhaust untold funds in search of treatment. Individual family members may also struggle to cope with their own symptoms that require support, such as depression or sleeping problems.

How is health and illness linked to sociology?

Methodology – The Sociology of Health and Illness focuses on three areas: the conceptualization, the study of measurement and social distribution, and the justification of patterns in health and illness. By looking at these things researchers can look at different diseases through a sociological lens.

  1. The prevalence and response to different diseases varies by culture,
  2. By looking at bad health, researchers can see if health affects different social regulations or controls.
  3. When measuring the distribution of health and illness, it is useful to look at official statistics and community surveys.
  4. Official statistics make it possible to look at people who have been treated.

It shows that they are both willing and able to use health services. It also sheds light on the infected person’s view of their illness, On the other hand, community surveys look at people’s rating of their health. Then looking at the relation of clinically defined illness and self reports and find that there is often a discrepancy.

A great deal of the time, mortality statistics take the place of the morbidity statistics because in many developed societies where people typically die from degenerative conditions, the age in which they die sheds more light on their life-time health. This produces many limitations when looking at the pattern of sickness, but sociologists try to look at various data to analyze the distribution better.

Normally, developing societies have lower life expectancies in comparison to developed countries. They have also found correlations between mortality and sex and age. Very young and old people are more susceptible to sickness and death, On average women typically live longer than men, although women are more likely to have bad health.

>80 77.5–80 75–77.5 72.5–75 70–72.5 67.5–70 65–67.5 60–65 55–60 50–55

Life expectancy by region in 2015 Disparities in health were also found between people in different social classes and ethnicities within the same society, even though in the medical profession they put more importance in “health related behaviors” such as alcohol consumption, smoking, diet, and exercise.

There is a great deal of data supporting the conclusion that these behaviors affect health more significantly than other factors. Sociologists think that it is more helpful to look at health and illness through a broad lens. Sociologists agree that alcohol consumption, smoking, diet, and exercise are important issues, but they also see the importance of analyzing the cultural factors that affect these patterns.

Sociologists also look at the effects that the productive process has on health and illness. While also looking at things such as industrial pollution, environmental pollution, accidents at work, and stress-related diseases. Social factors play a significant role in developing health and illness.

  • Studies of epidemiology show that autonomy and control in the workplace are vital factors in the etiology of heart disease.
  • One cause is an effort-reward imbalance.
  • Decreasing career advancement opportunities and major imbalances in control over work have been coupled with various negative health costs.

Various studies have shown that pension rights may shed light on mortality differences between retired men and women of different socioeconomic statuses. These studies show that there are outside factors that influence health and illness.

What are some social issues in sociology?

What Can You Do? Service Sociology and Social Problems By Javier Trevino Studying sociology usually means that you will be dealing with many issues that are troubling, harmful, and just plain distressing. As such, it is understandable that you may feel that “it’s all bad news,” that something needs to be done, that things need to change. Member of “Serve the City” in Brussels Dressing the Hair of a Homeless Woman Concern with the problems of urban life and their alleviation goes back to the early days of American sociology at the turn of the twentieth century. As sociology was becoming more and more popular in colleges and universities around the country, it basically took two forms: the study of sociological theory and the practice of ameliorative reform and service.

  1. At that time, most people thought of sociology as a form of philanthropy and courses such as Methods of Social Amelioration, Charities and Corrections, and Preventive Philanthropy were common.
  2. Undergraduate sociology programs were even more focused on training in charity and social service work.
  3. After its founding in 1892, the University of Chicago established the first full-fledged department of sociology in the United States.

At least initially, sociologists there were diligently engaged with applied social reform and philanthropy. Indeed, the founder of the department, Albion W. Small, pointed out that sociology “is good for nothing unless it can enrich average life; our primary task is to work out correct statements of social problems and valid methods of solving them.” Along with the development of sociology at Chicago, between 1885 and 1930, a unique, active, and engaged sociology was being implemented in many of the “settlement houses,” or neighborhood centers that provided services to poor immigrants, that had been founded in major cities throughout the United States.

Settlement sociologists, like Jane Addams, who in 1889 cofounded the most famous of the settlement houses, Hull House, in one Chicago’s desperately poor neighborhoods, considered the settlement as an experimental effort in the solution of the social problems of the modern city. Addams, and others like her, sought empirical data on various social problems through detailed descriptions of the conditions of groups living in poverty.

In addition, Hull House provided a wide variety of community services, including securing support for deserted women, conducting a kindergarten and day nursery, implementing various enterprises for neighborhood improvement, and establishing a relief station.

  • A new type of sociology that is devoted to the practical amelioration of social problems and that has its heritage in the early American sociology of relief and reform is now emerging.
  • Service sociology is a socially responsible and mission-oriented sociology of action and alleviation.
  • Motivated by care and compassion, service sociology is concerned with helping people meet their pressing social needs.

The sociology of service believes that the personal needs of one individual are not so different from the collective needs of others in similar life circumstances. This belief is why service sociology treats individuals as people in community with each other.

  • The main goal of service sociology is to help people by meeting their essential needs and concerns through service.
  • The various types of service activities for helping others is vast and they include: community counseling, coaching, mentoring, tutoring, conflict resolution, community gardening, friendly visiting, community cleanup, block activities, giving circles, crime prevention, community organizing, advocacy, voter registration, participatory action research, service learning, and mediation.
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And you can probably think of other similar service activities. Indeed, the time is now ripe for service sociology and for student involvement in it. Consider that in the past few years there has been a renewed public interest in volunteering and social service—a so-called “compassion boom”—particularly among the Millennial generation.

Today, over one-quarter of all Americans take part in some form of community service with over 64 million volunteers serving. In 2011 these volunteers dedicated nearly 8 billion hours to volunteer service, and the economic value of this service was $171 billion. And across the country, millions of volunteers are involved in a range of critical areas, including tutoring and teaching; participating in fund-raising activities or selling items to raise money for an organization; collecting, preparing, distributing, or serving food; and contributing general labor or providing transportation.

What is more, no less than 26% of college students volunteered in 2010, and over 3 million of them dedicated over 300 million hours of service to communities across the country, primarily in activities involving youth mentoring, fundraising, and teaching and tutoring.

  1. In addition to community service, many citizens across the country are engaged civically.
  2. Indeed, between 2008 and 2010, 8.4 % of American adults worked with neighbors to fix a community problem; 49.6 % donated money, assets, or property with a combined value of more than $25 to charitable or religious organizations; and in 2010, 41.8 % of residents voted in the 2010 national election.

In recent years we have also seen the emergence of several high-profile national service initiatives, such as President Obama’s United We Serve campaign, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, and the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

  1. This service work is being done by many ordinary people who are picking up the slack for a city, a state, a nation unwilling or unable to attend to many critical matters that directly affect thousands, even millions, of people.
  2. We have now entered an era in this country characterized by a culture of service—involving various forms of civic engagement, community service, and volunteerism—that allows people, as citizens, to work together to ease or mitigate the predicaments and uncertainties created by poverty, hunger, racism, sexism, epidemics, calamities, and so on.

It is precisely in this current culture of service, with its numerous pressing needs and concerns, that we can consider the emergence of a sociology of social problems based on service. The motto of the International Sociology Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Delta, is “to investigate humanity for the purpose of service.” See To learn more about service sociology you can read the following sources: Treviño, A.

  • Javier.2011.”Teaching and Learning Service Sociology.” Teaching/Learning Matters 40(1):4–6.
  • Treviño, A.
  • Javier.2012.
  • The Challenge of Service Sociology.” Social Problems 59(1):2–20.
  • Treviño, A.
  • Javier.2013.
  • On the Facilitating Actions of Service Sociology.” Journal of Applied Social Science 7(1):95–109.

Treviño, A. Javier, and Karen M. McCormack.2014. Service Sociology and Academic Engagement in Social Problems. Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing. : What Can You Do? Service Sociology and Social Problems

What is the conflict theory in healthcare?

Conflict Perspective In this view, people with money and power—the dominant group—are the ones who make decisions about how the healthcare system will be run. They therefore ensure that they will have healthcare coverage, while simultaneously ensuring that subordinate groups stay subordinate through lack of access.

What is the difference between a social issue and a social problem?

social issue, also called social problem, a state of affairs that negatively affects the personal or social lives of individuals or the well-being of communities or larger groups within a society and about which there is usually public disagreement as to its nature, causes, or solution.

The term social issue is frequently used synonymously with social problem, Early uses of the term social problem are found in the writings of 19th-century intellectuals, including John Stuart Mill, the British philosopher who coined the phrase. For decades, “the” social problem—defined generally as that of resolving social conflict and creating a better society—was a common subject of debate, scholarship, and journalism in European and American literary culture,

The idea of multiple social problems arose toward the end of the 19th century, as sociologists, social workers, and social reformers tended to frame their work in terms of the narrative of studying and solving society’s problems. Since the late 20th century, the increased colloquial use of issue as a synonym for problem has led social issue to become a common synonym for social problem,

  1. While in some contexts issue has connotations that distinguish it from problem, within sociology and related fields the two terms are effectively synonymous.
  2. In everyday speech, social issue is occasionally used distinctly from social problem to identify a general topic of public discussion or debate.

While the basic definition of social issue as a problem facing a society is agreed upon, there is no uniform methodology to differentiate social issues from other problems that may less directly impact the well-being of individuals and communities, such as economic, environmental, ethical, legal, or political problems.

Labeling these conditions “social issues” has more to do with the subjective perspective of the speaker—as well as the speaker’s purpose in addressing a certain audience, such as students, activists, or other professionals—than with the contours of the issue itself. For example, both an economist and a sociologist may write about the problem of unemployment ; the economist might be primarily concerned with the technical factors that increase unemployment, while the sociologist might be concerned with the consequences of high unemployment in some communities or with the question of why the unemployment rate is greater in some communities than it is in others.

Subjectivity also comes into play in people’s judgments that a particular state of affairs constitutes a social issue. For example, some people consider the increasingly common situation of romantic partners cohabiting before marriage to be a serious social issue that needs to be addressed and solved, while others do not consider such arrangements to be a matter of concern beyond the individuals involved.

The causes of social issues are multifaceted, and many issues lack a source agreed upon by a consensus of experts. Some social issues may be framed as “bottom-up” or “top-down” problems. Drug addiction and alcoholism are exemplars of “bottom-up” social issues: individual people all over the world become addicted to various substances, and this personal problem influences their own lives as well as the lives of their loved ones.

When the personal circumstance of addiction is multiplied to include large groups within a society, addiction becomes a social issue. In contrast, a “top-down” social issue is climate change, The causes of climate change cannot be traced back to the personal actions of a single individual, and they stem from a large number of individual agents and factors, but climate change has negatively affected communities throughout the world, including by increasing the likelihood of catastrophic flooding and drought, Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Subscribe Now Social issues can rarely be cleanly divided into discrete categories and often have intersectional causes and effects. For example, child marriage—the marriage of legal minors—is considered by many to be a serious global social issue.

Some frame it as an issue of women’s rights ( see feminism ), as the younger partner in such marriages is generally female and the marriage is often forced on her by her family, Others may argue that it is a problem of children’s rights in general, as often both partners in such marriages are underage, and child marriage can plausibly be linked to cultural attitudes fueling issues such as child labour,

Child marriage also exacerbates problems like illiteracy and undereducation, since the girls in such marriages are often expected to leave school. Pregnancy and birth can be dangerous for underage females and their children, leading to health problems.

  • Child marriage can also be linked to problems of unemployment and low economic opportunity, since many families choose to marry off their daughters to avoid the costs of caring for them.
  • Finally, there are those who argue that child marriage should in fact be legal for cultural or religious reasons—from such a perspective, the many laws criminalizing child marriage are themselves a social issue.

A partial list of common, generally agreed-upon social issues might include, in addition to those mentioned above, the following problems: child abuse, civil rights, crime, criminal justice, disability rights, domestic violence, gambling, hate crime, health care ( see medicine ), homelessness, immigration, mental illness, obesity, police brutality and corruption, pollution, and poverty,

Is poverty a social problem?

Social Problems in the News – “Survey: More US Kids Go to School Hungry,” the headline said. As the US economy continued to struggle, a nationwide survey of 638 public school teachers in grades K–8 conducted for Share Our Strength, a nonprofit organization working to end childhood hunger, found alarming evidence of children coming to school with empty stomachs.

  1. More than two-thirds of the teachers said they had students who “regularly come to school too hungry to learn—some having had no dinner the night before,” according to the news article.
  2. More than 60 percent of the teachers said the problem had worsened during the past year, and more than 40 percent called it a “serious” problem.

Many of the teachers said they spent their own money to buy food for their students. As an elementary school teacher explained, “I’ve had lots of students come to school—not just one or two—who put their heads down and cry because they haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday” (United Press International, 2011).

  1. The United States is one of the richest nations in the world.
  2. Many Americans live in luxury or at least are comfortably well-off.
  3. Yet, as this poignant news story of childhood hunger reminds us, many Americans also live in poverty or near poverty.
  4. This chapter explains why poverty exists and why the US poverty rate is so high, and it discusses the devastating consequences of poverty for the millions of Americans who live in or near poverty.

It also examines poverty in the poorest nations of the world and outlines efforts for reducing poverty in the United States and these nations. Although this chapter will paint a disturbing picture of poverty, there is still cause for hope. As we shall see, the “war on poverty” that began in the United States during the 1960s dramatically reduced poverty.

Inspired by books with titles like The Other America: Poverty in the United States (Harrington, 1962) and In the Midst of Plenty: The Poor in America (Bagdikian, 1964) that described the plight of the poor in heartbreaking detail, the federal government established various funding programs and other policies that greatly lowered the poverty rate in less than a decade (Schwartz, 1984).

Since the 1960s and 1970s, however, the United States has cut back on these programs, and the poor are no longer on the national agenda. Other wealthy democracies provide much more funding and many more services for their poor than does the United States, and their poverty rates are much lower than ours.

Still, the history of the war on poverty and the experience of these other nations both demonstrate that US poverty can be reduced with appropriate policies and programs. If the United States were to go back to the future by remembering its earlier war on poverty and by learning from other Western democracies, it could again lower poverty and help millions of Americans lead better, healthier, and more productive lives.

But why should we care about poverty in the first place? As this chapter discusses, many politicians and much of the public blame the poor for being poor, and they oppose increasing federal spending to help the poor and even want to reduce such spending.

As poverty expert Mark R. Rank (Rank, 2011) summarizes this way of thinking, “All too often we view poverty as someone else’s problem.” Rank says this unsympathetic view is shortsighted because, as he puts it, “poverty affects us all” (Rank, 2011). This is true, he explains, for at least two reasons. First, the United States spends much more money than it needs to because of the consequences of poverty.

Poor people experience worse health, family problems, higher crime rates, and many other problems, all of which our nation spends billions of dollars annually to address. In fact, childhood poverty has been estimated to cost the US economy an estimated $500 billion annually because of the problems it leads to, including unemployment, low-paid employment, higher crime rates, and physical and mental health problems (Eckholm, 2007).

  1. If the US poverty rate were no higher than that of other democracies, billions of tax dollars and other resources would be saved.
  2. Second, the majority of Americans can actually expect to be poor or near poor at some point in their lives, with about 75 percent of Americans in the 20–75 age range living in poverty or near poverty for at least one year in their lives.

As Rank (Rank, 2011) observes, most Americans “will find ourselves below the poverty line and using a social safety net program at some point.” Because poverty costs the United States so much money and because so many people experience poverty, says Rank, everyone should want the United States to do everything possible to reduce poverty.

  • Sociologist John Iceland (Iceland, 2006) adds two additional reasons for why everyone should care about poverty and want it reduced.
  • First, a high rate of poverty impairs our nation’s economic progress: When a large number of people cannot afford to purchase goods and services, economic growth is more difficult to achieve.
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Second, poverty produces crime and other social problems that affect people across the socioeconomic ladder. Reductions in poverty would help not only the poor but also people who are not poor. We begin our examination of poverty by discussing how poverty is measured and how much poverty exists.

What is the most health issue?

Heart Disease and Stroke – Heart disease and stroke still the leading causes of death for both U.S. men and women. NIH-funded scientists currently are looking to the power of precision medicine to better understand and manage these disorders.

What causes health issues?

Understanding Health Risks Improve Your Chances for Good Health Risks are all around us. A nearby sneeze may raise your risk for catching the flu. Obesity boosts the odds you’ll get diabetes. Smoking increases your risk for many cancers. And if you pay attention to news headlines, you may worry that you’re at risk for food poisoning, Zika infection, shark attacks, and more.

  1. How can you know which health risks apply to you? Health risks can sometimes be confusing, but they’re important to understand.
  2. Nowing the risks you and your family may face can help you find ways to avoid health problems.
  3. It can also keep you from fretting over unlikely threats.
  4. Nowing the risks and benefits of a medical treatment can help you and your doctor make informed decisions.

“Understanding health risks is key to making your own health care decisions,” says Dr. William Elwood, a psychologist and behavioral scientist at NIH. “It gives you perspective on potential harms and benefits, so you can make smart choices based on facts and not fears.” A health risk is the chance or likelihood that something will harm or otherwise affect your health.

  • Risk doesn’t mean that something bad will definitely happen.
  • It’s just a possibility.
  • Several characteristics, called risk factors, affect whether your health risks are high or low.
  • Your personal health risk factors include your age, sex, family health history, lifestyle, and more.
  • Some risks factors can’t be changed, such as your genes A substance inherited from your parents that defines features such as your risk for certain diseases.

or ethnicity. Others are within your control, like your diet, physical activity, and whether you wear a seatbelt. When you see health statistics, consider the types of people being described. If they’re not similar to you, or if the category is very broad, then your risks may be different.

  • A general statement like “More than half of Americans over age 45 will develop heart disease at some point” is based on statistical averages across the entire U.S.
  • Population.
  • If you’re younger than 45, your heart disease risk will generally be much lower.
  • The more risk factors you have—such as smoking, high blood pressure, or diabetes—the greater your risk.

Exercise and a healthy diet, on the other hand, can make your chance of developing heart disease lower than for most other people. “In many ways, our perception of risk is irrational,” says Elwood. “We sometimes worry over something that’s extremely unlikely, like Ebola in the U.S.

  • And we ignore steps we can take to prevent what’s much more likely to harm us, like heart disease or colon cancer.” Talking about health risks can seem intimidating.
  • Even doctors sometimes have trouble with risk concepts.
  • That’s why NIH supports research to improve how medical staff and others communicate health risks and prevention strategies to patients and the public.

“Math in general is hard for a lot of people. Yet math is often hidden in everyday activities that affect our health,” says Dr. Russell Rothman, a physician and scientist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Rothman’s research focuses on helping people understand and work with numbers, so they can reduce their risks for diabetes and excess weight, including childhood obesity.

Studies show that the way we hear and understand health statistics can be influenced by how the numbers are described, or how they’re “framed.” Different descriptions can affect how clear the information is and also what emotions it stirs. For example, the statement: “More than 20% of Americans will eventually die of cancer” might sound less scary from a different perspective: “Nearly 80% of Americans will not die of cancer.” The same information might seem clearer described as a ratio: “More than 1 in 5 Americans will eventually die of cancer.” Research shows that pictures or diagrams are often the most understandable—for instance, showing 5 human figures with 1 in a different color.

To understand the potential risks or benefits of a medical treatment or behavior change, it helps to focus on a math concept called “absolute risk.” Absolute risk is the chance of something happening, such as a health problem that might arise over a period of time.

For example, a disease might affect 2 in 100 middle-aged men over their lifetimes. If a certain drug lowers their risk for the disease to 1 in 100, the drug has reduced their absolute risk by 1 person in 100, or 1%. Another way to think of it is that you’d need to treat 100 people with this medicine to prevent just 1 additional person from getting the disease.

Often, however, you might hear numbers that use a related concept called “relative risk.” Relative risk compares the absolute risks of one group to another. In the example above, you could also say that the drug reduced the risk of disease by 50%, since 1 is half of 2.

Looking at relative risk alone, you may mistakenly think that the drug is highly effective. “Many times, the relative risk sounds much greater than the absolute risk, which can be confusing,” Rothman explains. When you hear numbers about risk, it’s best to focus on the absolute risk. Health risks can be especially hard to grasp when emotions run high, such as when people are faced with a serious illness.

One recent NIH-funded study found that people with advanced cancer tended to expect better outcomes and longer survival times from treatment than their doctors did. Most patients didn’t realize that their outlook differed from their doctors. Such misunderstandings might affect whether patients choose to undergo harsh treatments.

Communication is a 2-way street,” says the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Ronald M. Epstein of the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. “For effective discussions to occur, doctors must provide encouragement and answers. And patients have to ask important questions.” Epstein and colleagues are developing methods to help doctors and patients have realistic discussions about topics such as emotions, treatment choices, and likely outcomes.

“We’ve shown it’s possible to improve the conversations. It helps if patients come prepared with 3 or 4 big-picture questions to ask their doctors,” Epstein says. For people with advanced cancer, questions might include: How will treatment affect my quality of life? What’s the average survival time for this type of cancer? “It can feel scary to ask those kinds of questions.

Sometimes you don’t really want to know the answers, or you have mixed feelings,” Epstein says. “Doctors can help by opening the door to conversation. They can say, ‘Tell me what’s on your mind. Do you have any questions?'” Such open conversations can help patients and their families make more informed health decisions.

Start by talking with your doctor about your health risks. Ask how you can reduce your risks. And look to trustworthy websites—like NIH’s —for reliable health information. : Understanding Health Risks

What are at least 3 problems on social?

Is Healthcare A Social Issue Social Problems constitute a key topic in Sociology. They refer to different kinds of troubles negatively affecting a society, its social structure, and its values. Social problems can consist of global issues such as poverty, displacement, and terrorism.

What is social issues in 100 words?

Social Issues Essay – 100, 200, 500 Words Social issues are the problems that affect the masses. These are due to current situations and protracted lived disagreements and complications that are difficult to resolve due to different beliefs, viewpoints and opinions. Here are a few sample essays on ‘social issues’. Is Healthcare A Social Issue Social issues are due to traditional and cultural stereotypes harming ordinary people, which need immediate attention. Social problems are subjective. They mean different things to different people. Social issues include poverty, child marriage, violence, crime, illiteracy, racial discrimination, gender bias, economic inequality, caste discrimination etc.

  1. Poverty is a severe social issue in rural areas, giving way to a lack of food and education, malnutrition, crime and violence.
  2. Gender bias and casteism are very evident in developing countries.
  3. Lack of education has resulted in issues like child marriages and racial discrimination.
  4. Modern society has resulted in new issues like pollution, climate change, corruption and terrorism.

These issues have plagued every country, society and, at some point, every household. These issues can be solved with strategic planning and educating people about them.

Is depression an illness or a social issue?

Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.

Is depression a social issue?

Contributing factors and prevention – Depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological, and biological factors. People who have gone through adverse life events (unemployment, bereavement, traumatic events) are more likely to develop depression.

Depression can, in turn, lead to more stress and dysfunction and worsen the affected person’s life situation and the depression itself. Depression is closely related to and affected by physical health. Many of the factors that influence depression (such as physical inactivity or harmful use of alcohol) are also known risk factors for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases.

In turn, people with these diseases may also find themselves experiencing depression due to the difficulties associated with managing their condition. Prevention programmes have been shown to reduce depression. Effective community approaches to prevent depression include school-based programmes to enhance a pattern of positive coping in children and adolescents.

Is mental health a health issue?

It is a medical condition, just like heart disease or diabetes. And mental health conditions are treatable. We are continually expanding our understanding of how the human brain works, and treatments are available to help people successfully manage mental health conditions.

Is depression a social issue?

Contributing factors and prevention – Depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological, and biological factors. People who have gone through adverse life events (unemployment, bereavement, traumatic events) are more likely to develop depression.

Depression can, in turn, lead to more stress and dysfunction and worsen the affected person’s life situation and the depression itself. Depression is closely related to and affected by physical health. Many of the factors that influence depression (such as physical inactivity or harmful use of alcohol) are also known risk factors for diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and respiratory diseases.

In turn, people with these diseases may also find themselves experiencing depression due to the difficulties associated with managing their condition. Prevention programmes have been shown to reduce depression. Effective community approaches to prevent depression include school-based programmes to enhance a pattern of positive coping in children and adolescents.

What are the four characteristics of a social issue?

According to Weinberg (1960), Social Problems are behaviour patterns which arise from Social processes and are considered so objectionable by many members of a society that they recognize that corrective policies, programmes and services are necessary to cope with them. Characteristics – All Social problems are situations which have injurious consequences for society. – All Social problems are deviation from ideal situation. – All Social problems have common basis of origin. – All Social problems are social in origin. – All Social problems are caused by pathological social conditions. – All Social problems are interconnected. – All Social problems are social in their result that is they affect all section of society. – The responsibility for social problems is social, that is, they require collective approach for their solution. – Social problems occur in all societies.

Last modified: Thursday, 1 March 2012, 8:55 AM

What are examples of social conditions?

Emerging awareness and understanding of how social conditions shape health and health inequalities – For many individuals, “health care” is probably the first response that would come to mind if asked to name the most important modifiable influences on health.

  • Health-related behaviors (for example, smoking, alcohol intake, illicit drug use, physical activity, and diet) also would likely be mentioned, given the growing awareness of their health effects over the past few decades.
  • For a long time, clean water, adequate sanitation, food safety, and protection from occupational and environmental physical hazards have been widely recognized as essential conditions for health (although often taken for granted, at least in settings where they are guaranteed).

However, outside the development community or those who study or promote action on the social determinants of health, social and economic conditions in homes, neighborhoods, schools, and workplaces are generally less likely to be considered among the major influences on health.

Considerable evidence now indicates, however, that social and economic conditions — apart from access to and quality of medical care, which have undeniable importance — play a fundamental, powerful, and pervasive role in the health of populations in both resource-poor and resource-rich countries.4 The evidence includes, for example, widening social inequalities in health in the UK in the decades following the introduction of the National Health Service, which removed financial obstacles to medical care; the currently poor and progressively deteriorating US ranking on health internationally, despite higher medical care spending than any other nation; and increasing evidence and understanding of the health impact of social conditions.5 A large and rapidly growing literature documents strong and pervasive links between social and economic conditions and health in nations of all economic levels; although much remains unknown and contested, the biologic plausibility of many of those links has been documented by studies of pathways and physiologic mechanisms.6 The term “social conditions” is used here (see Table 1) — and often elsewhere — to refer to social, economic, and political conditions encompassing a wide range of modifiable factors that are outside the scope of medical care (the latter defined as preventive, curative, and rehabilitative services delivered by medical care personnel).

Social conditions include potentially modifiable characteristics of both social and physical environments at the individual, household, and community levels — that is, features of homes, schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods that could be shaped by policies (at least in theory, and given sufficient political will).

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Social conditions also include factors at the regional, national, and global levels that often shape conditions experienced locally. Examples of social conditions include poverty, quality of housing, homelessness, educational attainment and quality, unemployment, wage levels, lack of control over the organization of work, racial residential segregation, and other forms of discrimination.

Table 1. Definitions of selected terms Health Physical and mental and emotional health status Health equity Equity means justice. Health equity is a concept based on the ethical notion of distributive justice; as argued in this paper, it also can be seen as reflecting core human rights principles.

  • Pursuing health equity means minimizing inequalities in health and in the key determinants of health, including modifiable social and physical conditions as well as medical care.
  • Health equity implies addressing the social as well as medical determinants of health, because they are likely to be key determinants of health inequalities.

Health inequalities or disparities Differences in health that raise concerns about equity (justice) because they are systematically linked with social disadvantage, entailing worse health among socially disadvantaged groups. It must be plausible but not necessarily proven that these differences are modifiable.

Health inequalities may reflect social disadvantage, but a causal role for social disadvantage need not be established. Health inequalities or disparities (used synonymously here) are the metric by which health equity (see above) is assessed. Medical care Used here to refer to what many call “health care,” to distinguish it from health (i.e., health status) itself.

Medical care includes preventive services, such as vaccinations, preventive checkups and health education, as well as treatment and rehabilitation services. The right to health Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and several other human rights agreements include “the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” Social conditions Social, economic, and political factors, including the built environment, that strongly shape, and are shaped by, those circumstances in which people live and work.

Social conditions include not only features of individuals and households, such as income, wealth, educational attainment, family structure, housing, and transportation resources, but also features of communities, such as the prevalence and depth of poverty, rates of crime, accessibility of safe places to play and exercise, availability of transportation to jobs that provide a living wage, and availability of good schools and sources of nutritious food in a neighborhood.

The social determinants of health The wide range of social (including economic and political) conditions that are strong influences on health, such as the wealth and educational attainment of the family into which one is born, neighborhood social conditions, and the social policies that determine these conditions.

  • For further discussion, see P.
  • Braveman, “Health disparities and health equity: Concepts and measurement,” Annual Review of Public Health 27 (2006), pp.167-194 Areas of recently expanded knowledge linking social conditions and health The World Health Organization (WHO)’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health released its final report in 2008, marking a watershed event in the history of public health and human development.7 The WHO Commission’s report was ground-breaking in its unequivocal endorsement by the health sector of the importance of addressing inequalities in social conditions in order to address inequalities in health.

Backed up by massive collections of evidence and examples of promising interventions in economically, politically, and culturally diverse settings, the WHO Commission report called for action, while also acknowledging the need for further investment in research to guide future action on the social determinants of health.

Important advances in knowledge during the past 15 years include the growing understanding of biological mechanisms that may lead to cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases (for example, through pathways involving chronic stress).8 These potential mechanisms may involve multiple physiologic systems, including neuroendocrine, autonomic, immune, and inflammatory processes.9 Evidence from animal studies demonstrates that chronically high levels of stress may lead to neuroendocrine dysregulation, which, in turn, may lead to physiologic processes responsible for premature aging and chronic disease through damage to multiple organs and systems.10 Further study among humans is needed in order to draw definitive conclusions, but many experts in the field believe that pathways involving psychological responses to social conditions are likely to be among the most important explanations of the social gradient in health in affluent countries.11 Another important area of relatively recent discovery is that of early brain development.

Studies reveal differences in brain development and cognitive function in response to social conditions that vary by social class.12 Studies also reveal tremendous developmental plasticity in early childhood, which offers opportunities to substantially ameliorate the adverse developmental effects of early social disadvantage through interventions such as high-quality early child care programs.13 The positive effects of early intervention also have ramifications for the future, given increasing scientific awareness of the links between social conditions experienced in early childhood and health in adulthood.14 An important pathway through which early childhood development is likely to influence health involves school readiness, which predicts school performance; the latter, in turn, predicts educational attainment, one of the most powerful predictors of economic resources (through employment opportunities), social influence and relative social standing in adulthood.15 There also has been a marked increase in studies exploring how characteristics of neighborhoods can affect the health of their residents, above and beyond the effects of characteristics of individual residents.

Examples of neighborhood features that have been linked with health include the concentration of poor households in an area, levels of crime, accessibility to transportation and sources of employment, and degree of racial residential segregation. A growing body of literature suggests that the health effects of being poor in a neighborhood with concentrated poverty may differ from those of being poor in a more affluent neighborhood.16 Mechanisms explaining improved health in better-off neighborhoods may include more favorable social conditions in the wealthier neighborhoods (for example, less crime, better housing quality, safer places to play or exercise, better access to nutritious foods, and/or more social cohesion and trust), which may mitigate the disadvantages of individual residents.17 One’s perceptions of one’s social status relative to others in one’s immediate community also may have effects on health.

Subjective social status and social cohesion are among the reasons that have been invoked to explain the findings observed in some studies demonstrating that members of groups residing in neighborhoods where their numbers are more concentrated paradoxically appear to have better health, despite the higher concentrations of material disadvantage in those neighborhoods.18 This example illustrates the complexity of studying neighborhood effects on health.

Studying effects of communities on health is particularly challenging because characteristics of communities may influence health by shaping characteristics of households and individuals residing in them; if so, then estimating community effects while controlling for household/individual effects would entail adjusting for key mediators of the relationship between community characteristics and health; however, the existence of independent neighborhood effects is always a question of interest.

The study of links between social factors and health is in its infancy. It is challenging, in part because of the complexity of the pathways involved, with the possibility of interactions with contextual and individual factors at each step, and in part because of the often long latent period between exposure and later manifestation in measurable health outcomes.

While definitive knowledge of specific pathways and mechanisms is inadequate, sufficient knowledge has accumulated to establish that in resource-rich and resource-poor countries alike, social conditions are indeed powerful influences on health.19 Conceptual frameworks for understanding the links between social conditions and health For at least the past half century, a period during which medical technology has proliferated, prevailing ways of thinking about health often have tended to focus narrowly on medical care and/or on behaviors of individuals (for which individuals alone are held responsible).

There has been little consideration of how social conditions — which could be modified by policies outside the reach of the medical care sector — might also be important to consider, including the role they can play in shaping individual behaviors. Against this background, it has been important to have conceptual frameworks to guide work on the nexus between social conditions and health; these frameworks provide important resources for thinking about both health equity and human rights, and hence for analytic work in both fields.

What influences health? And what influences the influences? These advances in awareness of the impact of social conditions on health and health disparities led the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a national commission charged with recommending promising policy directions — beyond the realm of medical care — to improve health overall and reduce health inequalities in the United States.

The commission, convened during 2008–2009, was composed of nationally prominent leaders, primarily from fields outside of health care such as education, economics, labor, community development, business, and journalism.20 Figure 1 illustrates the conceptual framework articulated in the Foundation’s charge to the commission and rationale for the effort: that medical care and health-related behaviors are indeed important influences on health, but must be considered within the broader context of the social conditions that are more fundamental influences on health.21 While we as individuals need to behave responsibly and make healthy decisions, the societies in which we live must also act responsibly to create conditions that enable individuals to choose health.

According to this framework, efforts to improve overall health and reduce health disparities in the United States must be directed beyond medical care and individual behavior change to focus more broadly on social conditions — including the economic and social opportunities and resources that shape a person’s opportunities to live, learn, work, and play in health-promoting environments.

In the words of epidemiologist Geoffrey Rose, effective policies must focus at least to some extent on “the causes of the causes” rather than only on ameliorating the symptoms.22 Is Healthcare A Social Issue Figure 1. What modifiable factors influence health? And what influences the influences? Source: P. Braveman and S. Egerter, Overcoming obstacles to health: Report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Commission to Build a Healthier America (Princeton, NJ: Robert Wood Foundation, 2008), p.81).

Available at, Copyright 2008 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Overcoming Obstacles to Health. Used with permission. Understanding how health inequalities are created, exacerbated, and perpetuated Figure 2 illustrates another useful framework for understanding and addressing the links between social conditions and health.

Developed by Finn Diderichsen, now at the University of Copenhagen, and based on current knowledge of the dynamics of health and health inequalities, this framework depicts how social inequalities in health are created, exacerbated, and perpetuated through effects of social stratification.

Social stratification is defined as the sorting of individuals into groups with different relative positions in social hierarchies based on characteristics including social class, race or ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation or other factors associated with different levels of social, economic and political opportunities and resources, and reflecting different levels of wealth, influence, acceptance, and/or prestige.

Diderichsen’s diagram illustrates how social stratification leads to not only differential exposure to health-promoting or health-damaging experiences, but also to differential vulnerability to health damage among exposed individuals. For example, child mortality due to measles is generally confined to malnourished children who lack the immune defenses of well-nourished children and succumb to bacterial super-infections that complicate their infection with the measles virus.

Similarly, exposure to adverse peer group or advertising influences may have greater effects on the health-related behaviors of adolescents from socioeconomically disadvantaged families compared with their better-off counterparts. Social stratification also results in differential consequences at the same level of sickness or injury.

For example, while a highly educated professional who becomes seriously physically disabled may not lose his or her ability to earn a living, a manual laborer suffering the same disability will certainly lose his or her livelihood as a result; similarly, a person with considerable accumulated wealth and adequate medical insurance is unlikely to become homeless when faced with loss of employment due to serious illness or injury, in contrast to someone with few financial assets facing the same illness and related expenses. Is Healthcare A Social Issue Figure 2. How are social inequalities in health created, exacerbated and perpetuated? (Reproduced with permission from Finn Diderichsen, University of Copenhagen)

Is war a social issue?

Population Change and Environmental Change – Although war is a social phenomenon arising from decisions of political and military officials, other phenomena can make it more likely that these officials will decide to go to war. These more basic causes of war include population change and environmental change.

As Chapter 15 “Population and the Environment” discussed, population growth may lead to armed conflict of various types, including war, because growing populations need more food, water, and other resources. History shows that when these resources become too scarce within a society, that society is more likely to go to war to wrest these resources from another society (Gleditsch & Theisen, 2010).

Chapter 15 “Population and the Environment” also discussed environmental change as a source of armed conflict, including war (Fisman & Miguel, 2010). Recall that when weather disasters and other environmental changes cause drought and other problems, crops and other resources become scarcer.