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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • understand how some of the needs of homeless people can be met.


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5 Quality of life

‘Quality of life’ is beginning to be seen as significant by health policy makers. But this raises all kinds of problems about evaluating initiatives to promote wellbeing and quality of life.

If health is difficult to define then quality of life is even harder. You will have difficulty finding a tight definition. As George and Bearon state:

On the whole, social scientists have failed to provide consistent
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Learning outcomes

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • assess the degree to which health pervades all aspects of contemporary life

  • identify views on what health means personally

  • review a range of meanings that health has for individuals and groups of individuals

  • discuss the social and cultural significance of this range of meanings

  • critically analyse the distinction between ‘lay’ and professional perspectives on health.
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3.2 Intensity

Exercise intensity refers to the level of effort or workload at which someone should exercise to stimulate an improvement in their fitness. As mentioned in the previous section, to improve aerobic fitness the ACSM recommend moderate and/or vigorous intensity activity for most adults (Garber et al., 2011). Table 1 summarises what moderate and vigorous mean.

Exercise intensity can be measured using either heart rate or the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) method. We will look at each of
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3.4 Pharmaceuticals for mental health: a brief history

The ‘revolution’ in drug therapy is widely credited with causing the mass closure of psychiatric hospitals in the 1950s and 1960s, meaning that patients who had previously been considered too much of a danger to themselves or others could be safely housed ‘in the community’ as long as they took the medication. However, the trend for a reduction in numbers was already evident at the time the drugs in question began to be available, and academics such as Joan Busfield and Andrew Scull a
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1.3 Ways of viewing mental distress

The first point to note is that there are two key competing ways of viewing mental illness or distress: physical and social. One of the functions of this course is to draw together aspects of these accounts in order to cross the boundaries that they create and maintain. Our aim in this respect is to devise a third way, a more rounded and holistic approach that brings together the best of both worlds. In the meantime, though, the physical and social explanations predominate. Physical explanati
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1.2.3 Boundaries of ‘normality’

The origin of the ‘other’ in society is the widespread human tendency to create categories where people who don't fit in can be placed away from the mainstream. Social categories may lead to prejudice and discrimination, but may also lead to the physical separation of people to the margins of that society. Sibley (1995) traces the physical marginalisation of people in what he calls the ‘geographies of exclusion’. Part of the process of exclusion is where the ‘bad’, the ‘mad’ a
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3.21 Conclusion

This extract has shown that CAM practice raises a variety of ethical issues. Although ethical considerations have different dimensions when applied to CAM, this extract demonstrated that ethical issues – such as consent, competence, boundaries and effective communication – remain central to good practice. CAM practitioners, like all other responsible health care workers, must be taught and encouraged to recognise the ethical dimensions of their work. All practitioners must be accountable
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3.12 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: competence

Practitioners must have a sufficient level of competence to benefit users. The proliferation of training bodies, and the diversity of qualifications available, make it harder to know what represents an appropriate standard of pre-registration training or continuing professional development (CPD). Bringing a therapy under a single regulatory body makes it easier to set national educational standards in which diversity can be maintained, but a basic level of competence to practise is ensured. A
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3.4.3 Respecting autonomy is the foremost ethical principle in health care

Some commentators believe the pendulum has swung so far in favour of respecting autonomy that it leaves little scope for users to be passive recipients of healing. The desire to make each user an active participant in their own healing process can make it hard, or even impossible, for a user to refuse to engage in active decision making, and leave the decision to the benevolent practitioner. In this case, the user may waive his or her rights, by choosing not to be kept informed about changes
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2.2 Users' experiences of the therapeutic relationship

CAM users may seek a very different type of therapeutic relationship from those they experience with orthodox practitioners. Some people may want to spend more time with a CAM practitioner than they do with their GP, to have more say in determining the frequency of access to practitioners, to have more control over what happens in the consultation room, and to have more choice about the treatments they are given.

In any therapeutic encounter, people want to be treated with respect, to b
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1.4 Influences on health and illness behaviour

Activity 2: Experiencing health and illness

0 hours 30 minutes

Drawing on your own experiences of health and illness, answer the following questions.

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Keep on learning

Study another free course

There are more than 800 courses on OpenLearn for you to
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5.1.1 Linking supply and demand

But apart from these relatively few enlightened examples, the efficiency with which humanity currently uses its energy sources is generally extremely low. At present, only about one-third of the energy content of the fuel the world uses emerges as 'useful' energy, at the end of the long supply chains we have established to connect our coal and uranium mines, our oil and gas wells, with our energy-related needs for warmth, light, motion, communication, etc.


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4.3.2 Wave power

When winds blow over the world's oceans, they cause waves. The power in such waves, as they gradually build up over very long distances, can be very great – as anyone watching or feeling that power eventually being dissipated on a beach will know.

Various technologies for harnessing the power of waves have been developed over the past few decades, of which the 'oscillating water column' (OWC) is perhaps the most widely used. In an OWC, the rise and fall of the waves inside an enclosed
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4.3 Indirect use of solar energy

The above examples illustrate the direct harnessing of the sun's radiant energy to produce heat and electricity. But the sun's energy can also be harnessed via other forms of energy that are indirect manifestations of its power. Principally, these are bioenergy and hydropower, already discussed in Section 3 above, together with wind energy and wave power.


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4.1 What are renewable energy sources?

Fossil and nuclear fuels are often termed non-renewable energy sources. This is because, although the quantities in which they are available may be extremely large, they are nevertheless finite and so will in principle 'run out' at some time in the future.

By contrast, hydropower and bioenergy (from biofuels grown sustainably) are two examples of renewable energy sources – that is, sources that are continuously replenished by natural processes. Renewable energy sources a
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1.1.1 Where do we get our energy from?

The world's current energy systems have been built around the many advantages of fossil fuels, and we now depend overwhelmingly upon them. Concerns that supplies will 'run out' in the short-to-medium term have probably been exaggerated, thanks to the continued discovery of new reserves and the application of increasingly advanced exploration technologies. Nevertheless it remains the case that fossil fuel reserves are ultimately finite. In the long term they will eventually become depleted and
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Conclusion

In this Introduction we have explored the development of technology from the start of the Industrial Revolution to the present day. At the same time we have traced the increasing impact our industrial societies have had on our environment, and the role that science and technology has played in this. We have explored some major global environmental issues, in particular our dependence on the exploitation of fossil fuels, and have outlined some of the fundamental constraints on the abili
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6.4.4 Environmental limits

There are many different definitions of what sustainable development means; you were given one in Section 5.3, and how this should guide policy. The underpinning concepts are: equity for human development, and limits on the capacity of the environment. The idea of environmental limits on the ability of the Earth's biophysical systems to cope with and adapt to pressures from human activity, whether from demand for natural resources, the waste products of modern economies, or from habitat modif
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