The Importance of Quantitative and Qualitative

The idea of what is “normal” is very complex. As explained in Talking about Health by Roxanne Parrott, normal doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. More and more people are becoming obese and developing other health issues and are changing the idea of normal. In class we talked about how the “normal” blood pressure now was seen as unhealthy about thirty years ago. This change in the average of people’s quantitative health is an issue with only having a biomedical perspective. Quantitative health can also be problematic if people are comparing their health to the wrong set of people. The way we as a society judge what is normal is very distorted. Even if the statistics show a certain standard, who you surround yourself with and the different kinds of media you listen to affect your view of “normal”.  This is also the problem with qualitative health communication.

The activity that we did on the second day of class really helped me to understand how different peoples’ views of health are. When asked to write down my health history, I only wrote down physical ailments that I had growing up while others wrote down their diet and their activity levels. This change in perspectives showed me the importance of health communication. My perspective of my health was very much just the things that had gone wrong and none of the things that I do to improve my health on an average day. I consider this to be a quantitative viewpoint of my health. This is because I had the perspective I had of my health was the number of times I had to go to the doctor other than for my sports physicals. A combination of quantitative and qualitative communication for health is very important to have an overall understanding of an individual’s health.


One thought on “The Importance of Quantitative and Qualitative

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with you on the fact that if “normal” keeps changing, then we will just become used to it. It is similar to how when you are growing up you are constantly getting taller but you don’t notice it because it is gradual. Then you go to your grandparent’s house and they say, “Wow, look at how much you have grown!”. You are so used to your day to day changes, that you don’t realize overall how much taller you have become. This can be very concerning for, like what you said, weight of people today. Yes it is true that more people are overweight and obese, but I wonder how society and medicine would change if we used the older measurements. You also have to consider the fact that we are a more developed country now, and with more technology we have the opportunity to be lazy or be fast-paced and busy and not have time for exercise or good meals. Also, we don’t have to walk everywhere or work on farms as much anymore. So many factors can contribute to the issues of being an overweight America.

    I also really enjoyed you pointing out the second day of class. I found that really eye opening because, even though we weren’t given much time, there was still opportunity to think about your whole life and what you perceived as your health history. Quantitative and qualitative, no matter if you are ashamed of some of it because of mistakes you have made or bad diet choices, are still crucial for the best medical care and assessment. Great job on your post!


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