Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedPeninsula First semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Belinda Lewis


This unit provides the basic understanding of the concept of health particularly in the primary care clinical settings. This exploration will begin at a personal level and expand to clinical settings with the broader health environment. Varied definitions and models of health will be introduced to allow a detailed exploration of illness, health risks and how individuals, families and communities use limited resources.
Differences between health of the individual and the broader population will be examined using the clinical environment as the focal point. The factors that impact the dimensions of health will be critically explored to better understand the roles of government policies, the private sector and communities. Current inequalities in resources and other factors affecting health in clinical settings will be identified.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Reflect on the implications on clinical care of their own values and assumptions regarding health and wellbeing.
  2. Review diverse definitions, concepts and interpretations of health and wellbeing and their application in the clinical context.
  3. Define, compare and contrast biomedical and ecological models of health, and describe the value of both models in the clinical context.
  4. Demonstrate how the ICF framework applies in primary clinical care.
  5. Identify the socio-cultural, economic and physical determinants of health and describe how these affect care provision in clinical situations.
  6. Apply the principles of the 'determinants of health' approach in discussing selected health issues from the National Health Priority Areas across a range of population groups and clinical settings within urban/metropolitan and rural Australia.
  7. Describe and discuss inequalities in health and utilisation of clinical services, and the underlying reasons.
  8. Critically reflect on contemporary debates regarding individual and collective responsibility for health in clinical settings and the role for governments and private enterprise.
  9. Critically reflect on the philosophical and ideological underpinnings of various professional and lay perspectives on health and examine the way these perspectives are modulated by perspectives on socio-cultural, economic and physical determinants of health in the clinical setting


Hurdle requirement: 80% of tutorials, unless medical or other certification provided.
Essay (25%)
Written assignment (45%)
Final Examination (30%)

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Belinda Lewis

Contact hours

12 hours per week including contact time (1 hour lecture, 2 hour tutorial), fieldwork and self-directed learning