Health is a state of total physical, mental and emotional well being where infirmity and illness are absent. It is the state when one is not sick but feels good. When we speak of health, we refer to the capacity of the body to maintain its normal functioning in the presence of external factors such as temperature, light, pressure and humidity, etc. The concept of health is applicable not only in humans but also in animals.
There are several ways of measuring and assessing the levels of well-being. Some of these include the questionnaire used for the research purpose, interviews, health questionnaires and the use of ratings scales. The questionnaires used to measure the levels of well-being can be general, complex or particular in nature. These questionnaires to collect data on the attitudes towards health, exercise, nutrition, social activities, sleep, shopping habits, medical history, occupational activities, social competence, work performance, social connections, and emotional well-being. The use of ratings scales for measuring the well-being exist in many domains of health research.
The major components that contribute to determining an individual’s level of overall health include physical, mental, and emotional aspects. Mental health is measured using the Mental Health Assessment (MHAS) questionnaire. The MHAS is constructed as a screening tool for diagnosing the disease in its earlier stages. The screening instrument of the MHAS includes the naming of more than 100 psychological characteristics, which reflect the individual’s functioning in all aspects of life and contributes to determine his/her total level of mental health.
Psychological symptoms include mood disorders, anxiety, panic attacks, obsessive compulsive behavior, substance abuse, insomnia, fatigue, depression, irritability, guilt, and suicidal thoughts. The physical health measures the presence of ailments in the body. There are several ways of assessing the physical health including the history of the disease, functioning, patterns and severity of symptoms, and health-related factors. The history of the disease is important to know the antecedents and the progress of the disease, even up to the last stages of the illness. A history of the illness also provides information about the impact of treatment, follow-up care, complications, outcome, side effects, and survival rates.
In addition, the Mental Health Assessment (MHA) incorporates specific questionnaires related to specific types of mental disorders. The MHA has three definitions of the disorders: the first definition refers to the disease when the patient experiences mood swings or severe behaviors; the second definition defines the disorder when the person experiences disturbing thoughts or incongruities; and the third definition refers to the disorder when the person experiences significant changes in functioning or personality. The other two definitions are used in conjunction with the MHAS. The third definition covers common but not clinically relevant psychological symptoms.
The presence of any of the three symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person has the presence of the specified disease. A patient’s refusal to disclose his or her medical history may point to another condition, which should be considered. Also, there are cases when a patient complains of symptoms but does not meet the clinical requirement of the MHAS. If the absence of all or some of the symptoms listed in the third definition for a particular condition does not point to a disease, it is reasonable to conclude that the patient’s mental health is not significantly affected by the presence of the symptoms.