People tend to focus on the word “quality” when it comes to health, but this is a very narrow view. The definition actually changes somewhat depending on who you ask. For example, some medical professionals define quality as having healthy habits and good health; while other people prefer to focus on outcomes (how well a person does in keeping with recommended health behaviors). If you’re looking to improve your health or the health of someone you care about, understanding what quality of health means can help you to reach that goal more easily.
Quality of health can be defined as the ability to function normally in active participation in the community, society, and country. Health, according to the World Health Organization, is simply “a condition of life that includes all the basic characteristics of health: adequate nutrition, self-awareness and protection from risks, age, sex, education, work and recreation.” A wide variety of other definitions have also been used over the years for different purposes. A dictionary definition of quality as it relates to public health is “exquisiteness of the person or community” or “exceeding standards of health.” Another common use of the word is to evaluate the quality of life in general. This is typically used to evaluate the performance of government programs and communities.
There are multiple dimensions that comprise quality of life. On a societal perspective, public health is a matter of how healthy a community and country are, as well as how well they are able to provide for their residents. In this sense, health becomes an important social determinant of good health. It has been shown that indicators of community health are higher in areas that are economically and socially disadvantaged, have high rates of poverty, and have low levels of educational achievement, substance abuse, and disability.
On another level, good health and a healthy economy are intertwined. Economically disadvantaged people are less likely to have access to quality health care services. Also, poor economic conditions tend to mean that people suffer from a lack of confidence in the ability of medical professionals to provide them with the assistance they need. This leads to greater health problems, such as depression, an inability to make sound decisions, and the use of drugs and other health-compromising practices.
The term mental health refers to the condition of the brain and its functions. People who are healthy and function properly have developed good health skills. Those who have bad health skills are at risk for a number of diseases, including depression and other emotional disorders. Health problems such as these can cause depression to develop into a full-blown disorder, which can severely affect an individual’s ability to live a healthy, productive life. Poor physical environments can lead to physical health problems, such as poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and exposure to toxic substances.
The measurement of wellness is an ongoing process that includes both subjective and objective measures. These measurements allow researchers to begin to understand what constitutes good health and what areas require additional attention. Individual factors contribute to the degree to which a person is categorized as healthy or unhealthy. However, a balanced approach that takes all the seven dimensions of wellness into consideration helps to ensure that the entire individual is treated to their maximum potential for overall health and well-being.