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Health Values. 1986 May-Jun;10(3):34-7.

Wellness: the missing concept in health promotion programming for adults.

Abstract

Often the concept of wellness is considered to be synonymous with disease prevention and health promotion. It is this author's contention, however, that there are important and discernible difference between these three concepts. Disease prevention is defined as efforts aimed at reducing the occurrence and severity of disease, while wellness is described as attitudes and activities which improve the quality of life and expand the potential for higher levels of functioning. Wellness efforts are not motivated by a desire to avoid disease, but rather by a desire to enhance successful existence. Health promotion is viewed as a combination of disease prevention and wellness efforts. Currently, most programs which label themselves as wellness or health promotion aim solely at the prevention of disease. Thus wellness, while often used semantically as a marketing tool or buzz word, is truly a missing component of many health promotion programs. It is suggested that health educators and other health professionals attempt to incorporate a greater wellness orientation within their health promotion programs by exploring and documenting the wellness benefits of various health promotion objectives. Special attention should be paid to determinants of wellness throughout the lifecycle, as well as to interventions beyond the scope fo individual behavior change.

PMID:
10276150
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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