Saturday, 11 August 2012

Social vs Medical Models of Disability

This was something I had not considered before a thought-provoking training course - the definitions of impairment and disability.

Impairments are things like hearing and walking difficulties and pain. Disability, in the social model, is the loss of opportunity created by society because of barriers. In the medical model, disability is an illness that needs treatment.

That model, in which the healthcare professionals are trained in, disempowers patients. But it is more that just the emotions of patients at stake . . . With the attitude of trying to treat these conditions in the traditional sense, many healthcare professionals miss the fact that they can not be treated with drugs and operations. Of course, it is worth trying initially but alternative treatments ahold be considered which are not so much treatments but coping and management strategies for patients. Examples include counselling, CBT, relaxation techniques and other emotional tools.

Changing the minds of patients and healthcare professionals to this social model is the real challenge!

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