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Towards a Unified Theory of Health-Disease: I. Health as a complex model-object

Para uma teoria unificada sobre saúde-doença: I. Saúde como objeto-modelo complexo

Para una teoría unificada sobre salud-enfermedad: I. Salud como objeto- modelo complejo

Theory building is one of the most crucial challenges faced by basic, clinical and population research, which form the scientific foundations of health practices in contemporary societies. The objective of the study is to propose a Unified Theory of Health-Disease as a conceptual tool for modeling health-disease-care in the light of complexity approaches. With this aim, the epistemological basis of theoretical work in the health field and concepts related to complexity theory as concerned to health problems are discussed. Secondly, the concepts of model-object, multi-planes of occurrence, modes of health and disease-illness-sickness complex are introduced and integrated into a unified theoretical framework. Finally, in the light of recent epistemological developments, the concept of Health-Disease-Care Integrals is updated as a complex reference object fit for modeling health-related processes and phenomena.

Models, Theoretical; Health-Disease Process; Comprehensive Health Care

Faculdade de Saúde Pública da Universidade de São Paulo Avenida Dr. Arnaldo, 715, 01246-904 São Paulo SP Brazil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7985 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil