Understanding the importance of concepts of health
Intended for healthcare professionals
Evidence and practice    

Understanding the importance of concepts of health

Ruth Cross Course Director, School of Health and Community Studies, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To understand the various lay concepts of health

  • To understand how lay concepts of health can inform people’s experiences of treatment and influence their attitude to self-care

  • To update your knowledge of the importance of person-centred care

Health is a concept that is central to nurse education and nursing practice. It remains a dynamic concept, however, that has evolved over time and can be examined from contrasting perspectives. This article explores the various perspectives of health, for example lay concepts of health and factors such as happiness and well-being and their effect on people’s perceptions of health. It is recommended that nurses use a person-centred approach to explore patients’ concepts of health, which can influence their capacity to self-care.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11539

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Cross R (2020) Understanding the importance of concepts of health. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2020.e11539

Published online: 12 October 2020

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