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Human Experiences across the Health-Illness Continuum

Human Experiences across the Health-Illness Continuum

Sample Answer 

Human Experiences across the Health-Illness Continuum

Over the years, disdain and dissatisfaction with the existing healthcare approach that is primarily focused on providing episodic care and principally focused on treating patients for acute illnesses with no follow-up have been brewing. According to critics of episodic care, using this approach disallows providers from viewing patients historically, does not offer holistic healthcare solutions, predisposes patients to adverse effects as well as complications, and does not provide long-term solutions to address the high cost of emergency room interventions. These shortcomings subsequently formed the basis for the establishment of the ‘Health-illness Continuum’ model in 1961 by American doctor John W. Travis. This approach seeks to improve the perspective of healthcare by focusing on greater continuity of medical care beyond the care services provided in the emergency rooms, outpatient rooms, wards, or healthcare facilities in general. In this paper, therefore, I intend to explore the benefit of this approach to the delivery of both health and patient care, as well as the promotion of human dignity, value, and prosperity. I will also reflect on my personal state of health and the health-illness continuum.

Health-illness Importance to Health and Patient Care

The Heath-Illness Continuum model is an approach that ideally targets providing continuous, uninterrupted, and unending healthcare across an individual’s lifespan. It describes health along a continuum that ranges from a high level of wellness and health, which are placed at one extreme end, and high levels of poor health and illness (including death), which are positioned at the other extreme end. The Health-Illness Continuum model encourages greater integration of continuum care as well as assists in tracking and guiding the care of patients over time through comprehensive social, mental health, and physical health services (Fair, 2010). This perspective, therefore, is very important because it offers extensive health monitoring services to patients, ranging from home care, ambulatory care, acute care, and wellness programs to extended care. Healthcare providers, however, can give patients holistic and continuous care by integrating health information systems, disease management programs, case management systems, community-based services, and several other systems. The overall benefit to patients is that continuum care can lead to better healthcare outcomes, improved management of chronic diseases, and reduced medical costs (Clarke et al., 2017).

Relation of the Health-illness Continuum to Value, Dignity, and Promotion of Human Flourishing

As a nurse, understanding the health-illness continuum can, in so many ways, assist me in promoting the dignity and value of my patients as well as providing care services that encourage human triumph and wellness. For example, by working hand-in-hand with patients and their families, including assisting them in making critical care decisions, I can assist patients in reflecting on their own well-being as a long-term concern determined by their individual decisions. This not only helps to promote their dignity and worth but is also a means of helping them achieve better health outcomes and flourish in life, including reducing disease episodes, lowering pain, and so on. In essence, the knowledge of the human-illness continuum can assist me in delivering seamless, integrated care to my patient – which serves as a way of appreciating the dignity and value of life in general (Zimmer, 2010). Throughout my life as a nurse, I have, in several instances, played a vital part in assisting patients in transitioning smoothly as well as making important decisions that concern their well-being. For example, as a case manager, I once played a significant role in discharging and helping a cancer patient transition from hospital to home-based care, which was according to her wish. Even though she died a few months later, her family appreciated my experience in helping her continue her medication at home without interruption.

Reflection of the Personal State of Health and the Health Illness Continuum

In general, I consider myself healthy because I do not have any underlying mental, genetic, or physical conditions. However, my body is a major health concern, with my last hospital visit showing I have a BMI of about 26. Some of the behaviors that detract me from achieving full health and well-being include a lack of exercise and bad nutritional choices. I love playing video games, meaning that I have little time to participate in outdoor activities. I love processed foods, beef steaks, and French fries, but I wouldn’t say I like fruits and vegetables. Therefore, I currently fall under the ‘health-illness continuum’ program because I need a comprehensive care plan that will effectively manage my weight, ranging from my diet to my food.

However, several resources can help me shift toward wellness, including eating a balanced diet full of vegetables and fruits and low processed and junk food. USDA’s MyPlate dietary guide is one resource that can help me to select the best healthy food choices and, in doing so, assist me in controlling my BMI and body weight. Currently, the MyPlate recommendations include switching to more fruits and vegetables, taking plenty of whole grains, consuming more low-fat diets, balancing calories, and so on (USDA, n.d.). The second resource is the gym and open field located in my neighborhood. These two can help me burn calories at least five times a week.


Clarke, J. L., et al. (2017). An innovative approach to healthcare delivery for patients with chronic conditions. Population Health Management, 20(1), 23-30.

Fair, S. E. (2010). Wellness and Physical Therapy. Jones & Bartlett Publishers

USDA. (n.d.). Choose MyPlate. Retrieved from

Zimmer, B. (2010, April 16). Wellness. New York Times. Retrieved from


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Human Experiences across the Health-Illness Continuum

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:

  • 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.
  • 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 Experiences across the Health-Illness Continuum

    Human Experiences across the Health-Illness Continuum

  • 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.
  • 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.).

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.

Benchmark Information

  • This benchmark assesses the following competency:
    • RN-BSN
      • 5.1. Understand the human experience across the health-illness continuum.

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