Thinking about “disease” as complex and multi-dimensional

March 29, 2022
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The risk of transmission is complex and multi-dimensional. It depends on many factors: contact pattern (duration, proximity, activity), individual factors, environment (i.e. outdoor, indoor) & socioeconomic factors (i.e. crowded housing, job insecurity).
Tweeted by Muge Cevik on September 21, 2020

One argument against the disease model of addiction is that it advances a narrow medical model at the expense of recognizing social and environmental epidemiological considerations, as well as social and environmental interventions.

This image does a good job demonstrating that calling something a disease often should not necessitate a narrow medical approach. The graphic below focuses only on factors influencing transmission. Obviously, environmental and socio-economic factors don’t cause COVID, but they do influence risk, and that reality doesn’t make COVID any less of a disease.

I imagine a similar graphic could be made to represent the treatment and management of COVID that would include medical treatments as well as other factors and strategies (environmental, social, psychological, spiritual, etc) that influence access, engagement, compliance, response to treatment, and the pace stability of the patient’s recovery.

The import of those “nonmedical” dimensions only grows when we’re looking at chronic diseases that require management because there are no cures.

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