Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.

Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.


Research the health-illness continuum and its relevance to patient care. In a 750-1,000 word paper, discuss the relevance of the continuum to patient care and present a perspective of your current state of health in relation to the wellness spectrum. Include the following:Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.


1) Examine the health-illness continuum and discuss why this perspective is important to consider in relation to health and the human experience when caring for patients.
2) Explain how understanding the health-illness continuum enables you, as a health care provider, to better promote the value and dignity of individuals or groups and to serve others in ways that promote human flourishing.Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.
3) Reflect on your overall state of health. Discuss what behaviors support or detract from your health and well-being. Explain where you currently fall on the health-illness continuum.
4) Discuss the options and resources available to you to help you move toward wellness on the health-illness spectrum. Describe how these would assist in moving you toward wellness (managing a chronic disease, recovering from an illness, self-actualization, etc.).Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assesses the following competency:


5.1. Understand the human experience across the health-illness continuum.

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Understanding the Health Illness Continuum

Health and wellness exist on two extremes; one is either healthy/well or unhealthy/ill. The states of health and wellness cannot coexist. Most people associate health and wellness with being free of illnesses. In 1972, an American author, physician, and wellness inventor, John W. Travis, developed a graphic representation for a high degree of wellness and a high degree of illness (Dawson, 2017). The graphic representation, often referred to as the health-illness continuum, has two sides, the right side illustrating the extent of wellness, the left indicating the extent of ill health.  The wellness inventor drafted the tool to aid physicians in guiding their patients towards healthy lifestyle decisions. The continuum necessitates health awareness, education, and growth as it stretches beyond the absence of disease, bringing in emotional and mental aspects of health (Dawson, 2017). This paper unravels the relevance of the health-illness continuum and presents a perspective of the current state of health in relation to the wellness spectrum.Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.

Examination of the Health Illness Continuum

The health-illness continuum presents a new vision of health, incorporating the concepts of mental and social well-being.  This view is in line with the World Health Organization’s definition of health- “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being rather than the mere absence of disease” (Leonardi, 2018). The health-illness continuum requires ace decision-making skills since wellness is somewhat dynamic. Towards the right of the spectrum is an indication of high-level wellness/ a state of well-being, the middle a neutral point, and the left extreme an indication of illness or premature death (Svalastog et al., 2017). The health-illness model illustrates that human health is always on a back and forth track, hence keeping discerning a patient’s condition time and again (Charon, 2017). An individual’s health’s shift to the left indicates that there is little progress towards wellness, thus the need for intensified healthcare.Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.

Understanding the Health-Illness Continuum and Promoting Patient Dignity and Value

The nursing practice revolves around the concept of care, which must promote patient dignity and value (Parandeh et al., 2016). The health-illness continuum presents a wholesome approach towards nursing care, which mirrors Jean Watson’s theory of Human Caring. The continuum provides a guide towards making informed decisions on human health and lifestyle decisions. Using the health-illness continuum, nurses and patients can plan, visualize, and achieve wellness goals together. The clarity of the spectrum enables both parties to envision a healthier lifestyle as they progress from the left side towards high-level wellness (Dawson, 2017). The continuum also emphasizes the importance of patient education towards disease prevention and ultimate well-being. Thus, the health-illness continuum ensures that patients stay informed, thus enhancing patient outcomes, better value, and dignity.Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.

Reflection on My Overall State of Health

Upon reflecting on my wellness and illness, I have come to the realization that I am overweight, which is a threat to my overall well-being (Svalastog et al., 2017). It is thus important that I start making healthier lifestyle decisions regarding my eating habits and physical exercise. Maintaining my current weight puts me at risk of a variety of conditions, including obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, among others. Considering that my family medical history reveals diabetes and heart disease trends, it is important for me to work towards regulating my body weight. Some of the factors I need to pay attention to advance towards better health include healthy eating, moderate physical exercise, and a positive outlook on life. Paying attention to the health-illness continuum, I would have done better on some days, possibly by eating fewer carbs and more vitamins and fruits, taking a brisk walk, and thinking positively.Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.

Options and Resources to Help Me towards Wellness

There are various options and resources available to help me move towards attaining my well-being on the health-illness continuum. It is important to note that the options and resources cover the emotional, mental, and physical aspects of wellness (Payton, 2017). My health insurance is perhaps the most useful resource for enhancing my wellness.Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay. The insurance cover enables me to access expert advice regarding dieting and lifestyle. Also, there is a community state of the art gym located 100 meters from my residence. The facility is quite a useful resource towards my wellness; besides, walking to and from the place will boost my journey towards better physical and mental health (Payton, 2017). The local grocery market is also located close-by, a place I can pass after my workout and collect some fruits and vegetables to improve my diet.Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.


The nursing practice revolves around caring for patients, as highlighted by Jean Watson in her theory of Human Caring. The health-illness continuum emphasizes that human health and wellness stretches beyond the absence of disease to incorporate emotional and mental aspects. The model stresses the need for patient education as the system moves towards patient-oriented nursing care. The spectrum also highlights the importance of patient-provider interactions in a bid to enhance patient outcomes and satisfaction while providing dignity and value. Considering all dimensions of health and wellness, as John W. Travis highlighted, patients and health providers can visualize better health and work towards better decisions and their well-being.Human Experience Across the Health-Illness Continuum Essay.