What Are Determinants of Well-Being?

Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is “an environment where an individual’s health is generally good but is not perfectly balanced.” Various definitions have been employed over the years for various purposes. In the United States, the National Health Interview Survey (NHS) attempts to measure the quality of health and the need for health services and other programs. The concept of health is more complex and difficult to measure than most people realize.


The conceptual framework of health has changed considerably in recent years. The focus has shifted from individual self-care to a collective effort to promote health and to overcome health equity. Although public health remains a significant influence in promoting health, its impact has been lessened by the growth of personal responsibility and greater interest in environmental, lifestyle and dietary factors. The challenge is to create environments that promote health while reducing health inequities.

One important concept is the notion that illness is caused by both an individual and their environment. Illness may be prevented or controlled through efforts to modify behavior, exposure to disease prevention measures and the effectiveness of current treatments. Some health care workers are trained to evaluate people at risk for several diseases, like obesity, chronic conditions and mortality, and they help to design programs to prevent these diseases and to reduce overall life expectancy.

There are three major components of the conceptual framework of health promotion and quality in health: individual determinants, environmental factors and societal determinants. Individual determinants refer to external threats that increase a person’s chances of getting health problems, including genetics, socioeconomic status and heredity. These determinants can themselves be changes in the environment, including poor nutrition, air pollution and poverty. External threats can also be internal, such as stress, infection and smoking. The third component is society, which refers to the existence and influence of organizations and policies that promote health.

In defining health promotion and quality in health care, health determinants are not only external threats but internal ones as well. Internal factors refer to those things that influence how well a person stays fit and what she or he becomes capable of doing. These factors include both physiological and psychological traits and capabilities. These can include age, level of education, body size and fat distribution among others. Both determinants and internal factors interact with each other to determine the quality of life that people enjoy.

The third component is the public health aspect of health, which aims to improve the general well-being of all citizens. This involves both preventative measures and services that promote healthy lifestyles, such as eating healthy foods and exercising regularly. It also involves research and evaluation to detect, evaluate and control diseases, injury and disability. This is one of the main drivers of mental health and wellness, as the aim of public health is to protect the general well-being through the effective identification, investigation and prevention of disease and injury through the measurement and evaluation of quality of health.