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Definitions

Definitons of health terms

TermDefinition
Health A complete state of physical, social and mental wellbeing, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
wellbeing the state of being healthy, happy and contented, usually determined through self-assessment
physical dimension of health relates to the efficient functioning of the body and its systems, and includes the physical capacity to perform tasks and physical fitness.
social dimension of health being able to interact with others and participate in the community in both independent and cooperative way.
mental health state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of everyday life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
homeostasis the property within a living organism that regulates its internal and external environment to maintain stability and consistency
health status an individual's or population's overall level of health, taking into various factors such as life expectancy, amount of disability and levels of disease risk factors.
life expectancy indication of how long a person can expect to live. it is the number of years of life remaining to a person at a particular age if death rates to not change
mortality the number of death caused by a particular disease, illness or other environmental factor.
morbidity refers to ill health in an individual and the levels of ill health in a population or group.
trends a long term general movement or change in frequency, usually either upwards or downwards, i.e. an upward trend in a disease or unhealthy behaviour means that it is becoming more frequent.
incidence the number or rate of new cases of a particular condition during a specific time.
prevalence the number of proportion of cases of a particular disease or condition present in a population at a given time.
DALYs A measure of the burden of disease, one DALY equals one years of healthy life lost due to premature death and time lived with illness, disease or injury.
burden of disease a measure of the impact of diseases and injuries, specifically it measures the gap between current health status and an ideal situation where everyone lives to an old age free of disease and disability.
long term conditons disease or health problems that have lasted or are expected to last for 6 months or more
conduct disorder a psychological disorder diagnosed in childhood that presents itself through a repetitive and persistent pattern of behaviour in which the basic rights of other or major age appropriate behavioural expectations are violated
psychological distress refers to an individual's overall level of psychological strain or pain, when the individual experiences a psychological state such as depression, anxiety or anger.
chronic condition ongoing physical or mental condition that causes impairment or functional limitations
disability refers to the way individuals function in the community, measured in terms of impairments and activity limitations for everyday activities.
growth refers to the measurable changes in the body, mainly due to an increase in the body's cells.
individual human developement describes the gradual changes in an individuals physical, social, emotional and intellectual states and abilities.
quantative to measure, or count or gain and idea of how much change is occurring by looking at quantities or amounts.
motor developement a form of physical development that relates to the way in which an individuals develops muscle function.
motor skills the ability to move, through gaining and exercising control over the large and small muscles of the body
gross motor skills the ability to control the movement of larger muscle groups within the body.
norm a standard, model or pattern generally regarded as typical
fine motor skills the ability to control the movement of smaller muscle groups within the body
socialisation the process of acquiring values, attitudes and behaviours through interacting with others
peer group a group of individuals who are similar ages and who share similar interests
self esteem how a person feels about themselves and their own abilities
self concept the idea an individual has of themselves. who they are who they want to be what they value and what they believe others think of them
intellectual development also referred to as cognitive development, the ways in which people are able to think and reason
developmental milestones a task, undertaking or event that is expected to be achieved in order to successfully progress to a further level of development
youth 12 to 18 years of age. however it should be acknowledged that classifications for the stage of youth can differ between agencies
puberty the time signifying the end of childhood and during which significant changes to the way an individuals body structure and functions occur in terms of skeletal and sexual maturation
hormone a chemical substance produced by the body that acts to regulate to control a wide range of body processes including physical growth and development
maturation describes the process whereby a person gradually realises their genetic potential
endocrine system a body system made up of glands that release hormones in order to control body funtions
gland an organ that produces hormones and releases hormones
growth spurt a period involving a rapid increase in height and body mass, which occurs as a consequence of the onset of puberty
primary sexual characteristics characteristics that develop during puberty related to the development of the sex organs and reproductive systems of males and females enabling them to reproduce
secondary sexual characteristics characteristics that develop during puberty that indicate sexual maturity but are not related to a persons ability to reproduce
oestrogen the female sex hormone responsible for sexual development
progesterone the female sex hormone involved in the female menstrual cycle
testosterone the principle male sex hormone
menarche a females first menstruation or period
ovum also referred to as an egg, it contains the dna from the female parent and is released by the ovaries
endometrium lining of the uterus
ovulation the release of the ovum on approximately day 14 of the menstrual cycle
corpus luteum the follicle area of the ovary from which an ovum has been released
moral development development regarding rules and conventions about what people should do in their interactions with other people
Created by: Whitney123