Health and Wellness

  • Susan Hatters Friedman
  • Joy Stankowski
  • Martha Sajatovic

Health: Definitions

Health is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “the condition of being sound in body, mind, or spirit; especially, freedom from physical disease or pain” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2007a). The emphasis is on the absence of disease or any condition that impairs normal functioning. For much of the last century, this impairment has been viewed mostly in biological terms, an approach known as the “medical model.” Under this model, there have been significant advances in microbiology, genetics, and medication over the last half-century (McCulloch, 2005). Many nevertheless feel this model is too limiting, as it does not weigh psychological and social contributors to disease (Engel, 1977).

The World Health Organization, which coordinates health care for countries within the United Nations, emphasized a more broad definition of health in its 1946 Constitution: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of...


Mental Health Mental Illness Anorexia Nervosa Mental Health Care United States Department 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Hatters Friedman
  • Joy Stankowski
  • Martha Sajatovic
    • 1
  1. 1.University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve UniversitySchool of MedicineCleveland

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