Understanding Human Needs in Health and Wellbeing

Health and Wellbeing

Health is a psychobiological, social, dynamic, relative, and highly variable phenomenon. In humans, it corresponds to a state of physiological and ecological balance and social adjustment, encompassing all the possibilities of the human body against the complexities of the social environment.

Understanding Needs

Necessity: We define a necessity as something everyone requires to maintain their life, health, and wellbeing.

Types of Needs:

  • Biological Needs: These needs affect the individual’s physical structure, allowing them to live and develop throughout different life stages.
  • Psychological Needs: These needs relate to mental and emotional functions.
  • Social Needs: These needs affect an individual’s relationships with others, i.e., their social network.

Theories of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

This theory distinguishes five types of needs that appear hierarchically, with the most basic being physiological. Once these are met, higher-ranking, more psychological needs emerge. Although everyone has basic physical needs, not everyone achieves or experiences the higher-level needs.

  1. Physiological Needs: These are fundamental to an individual’s survival.
  2. Safety Needs: These needs create or maintain order and security for the individual.
  3. Needs for Belonging, Affection, and Love: These needs drive individuals to relate to the rest of society, be part of a group, seek companionship, etc.
  4. Esteem Needs: These needs relate to respect and esteem from others and oneself.
  5. Self-Actualization Needs: These needs produce personal satisfaction and allow individuals to be at peace with themselves.

Kalish’s Adaptation

This adaptation maintains the hierarchical structure but with greater consensus. It considers six levels, dividing physiological needs into survival and stimulation.

  1. Survival Needs: Food, air, water, temperature regulation, elimination, rest, avoidance of pain.
  2. Stimulation Needs: Sex, activity, exploration, manipulation, novelty.
  3. Safety and Security Needs: Tranquility, security, protection.
  4. Love and Belonging Needs: Love, relevance, proximity.
  5. Esteem Needs: Love, self-esteem.
  6. Self-Actualization Needs: Self-knowledge.

Virginia Henderson’s Model of Requirements

This model outlines 14 fundamental needs:

  1. Breathe normally/properly.
  2. Eat and drink adequately.
  3. Eliminate body waste.
  4. Move and maintain a proper posture.
  5. Sleep and rest.
  6. Select appropriate clothing.
  7. Maintain body temperature.
  8. Maintain hygiene.
  9. Avoid environmental dangers.
  10. Communicate with others, express emotions, needs, fears, or opinions.
  11. Worship according to one’s faith.
  12. Work in a way that provides a sense of accomplishment.
  13. Participate in recreation and leisure activities.
  14. Learn, explore, or satisfy curiosity that leads to normal development and health.

M. Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns

This model proposes 11 functional patterns as guidelines to address user needs in different areas:

  1. Health Perception-Health Management: Describes how individuals perceive their health and wellbeing and act accordingly.
  2. Nutritional-Metabolic: Determines food and fluid consumption habits in relation to needs and availability.
  3. Elimination: Describes the pattern of bowel and bladder function and the use of assistive devices.
  4. Activity-Exercise: Refers to a person’s mobility and ability to carry out activities.
  5. Sleep-Rest: Describes sleep and rest patterns and mechanisms used to achieve them.
  6. Cognitive-Perceptual: Describes a person’s perceptual and cognitive abilities.
  7. Self-Perception-Self-Concept: Assesses an individual’s attitudes toward themselves.
  8. Role-Relationships: Describes the social roles an individual assumes in different areas of life.
  9. Sexuality-Reproduction: Addresses the quality of satisfaction with sexuality and reproductive health.
  10. Coping-Stress Tolerance: Refers to resilience and coping mechanisms for handling stressful situations.
  11. Values-Beliefs: Describes patterns of beliefs and values that influence decisions and behaviors.

Factors Influencing Needs

  • Permanent Factors: Age, intelligence level, physical ability, environment, etc.
  • Pathological States: Diseases, illnesses, pain, etc.

Key Concepts

  • Capacity: An individual’s ability or competence to perform activities and behaviors that allow them to function in their social environment.
  • Independence: The ability to perform activities of daily living alone and without assistance.
  • Autonomy: The capacity and/or right to make decisions for oneself, act freely, direct one’s actions, and assume the risks of one’s behavior.
  • Dependence: The state in which individuals, due to physical, mental, or intellectual limitations, require assistance and/or significant help to perform activities of daily living.