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Wholistic Health Care: Evolutionary Conceptual Analysis

Abstract

While performing a data search to define “wholistic health care”, it was evident that a definite gap existed in published literature. In addition, there are different definitions and several similar terms (whole person care, wholistic health, whole person health, wholism, etc.), which may cause confusion. The purpose of this paper was to present the analysis of “wholistic health care” using Rodgers’ Evolutionary Method. The method allows for the historical and social nature of “wholistic health care” and how it changes over time. Attributes, antecedents, and consequences of wholistic health care were reduced using a descriptive matrix. In addition, attributes that consistently occurred in wholistic health care were presented as essential attributes. Definitions of Wholistic Health Care Provider(s), Wholistic Health, Wholistic Illness, Wholistic Healing, and Patient were created from the analysis of the literature review of attributes, antecedents, and consequences of wholistic health care. Wholistic Health Care is defined as the assessment, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of wholistic illness in human beings to maintain wholistic health or enhance wholistic healing. Identified wholistic health needs are addressed simultaneously by one or a team of allied health professionals in the provision of primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care. Wholistic health care is patient centered and considers the totality of the person (e.g., human development at a given age, genetic endowments, disease processes, environment, culture, experiences, relationships, communication, assets, attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyle behaviors). Patient centered refers to the patient as active participant in deciding the course of care. Essential attributes of wholistic health care are faith (spiritual) integrating, health promoting, disease managing, coordinating, empowering, and accessing health care. Wholistic health care may occur in collaboration with a faith-based organization to mobilize volunteers to support and promote individual, family, and community health. A gap existed in literature regarding the definition of wholistic health care. In addition, a lack of clarity was identified due to the use of the concept, similar or related concepts. Conceptual clarity was sought through identification and definitions of attributes, Powered by Editorial Manager® and ProduXion Manager® from Aries Systems Corporation antecedents, and consequences. The theoretical definition of wholistic health care and conceptual model can be used to support the presence of the concept, develop model-based applications, and consistently test effectiveness.

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Correspondence to Deborah Jean Ziebarth.

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Ziebarth, D.J. Wholistic Health Care: Evolutionary Conceptual Analysis. J Relig Health 55, 1800–1823 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-016-0199-6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-016-0199-6

Keywords

  • Wholistic health care
  • Wholistic health
  • Wholistic healing
  • Wholistic illness
  • Wholistic health care provider
  • Patient
  • Faith community nursing
  • Parish nursing
  • Evolutionary conceptual analysis
  • Community health