Frontiers | Science News

Science News post list

17 news posts in UNSDGs

Image: Prof Gerold Stucki


31 May 2023

‘Rethinking health beyond disability and disease’

by Liad Hollender, Frontiers science writer Image: Prof Gerold Stucki Is there more to health than just the absence of disease? According to a team of researchers from Swiss Paraplegic Research and the University of Lucerne, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’. In an article published in Frontiers in Science, the researchers explain how ‘human functioning’ – a new assessment of health – could revolutionize healthcare, and even help advance the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. But what is human functioning and why is it such a powerful concept? To find out, Frontiers spoke with the team – Prof Jerome Bickenbach, Prof Sara Rubinelli, Cristiana Baffone, and Prof Gerold Stucki. How would you define human functioning? Gerold: Functioning is a concept developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), which constitutes a rethinking of health that goes beyond disability and disease. It encompasses people’s biological health as well as their ‘lived health’ – the activities they perform in their daily lives. What activities? Everything from eating and grooming, to working and socializing. This way of thinking is important because while it’s true that our biological health affects what we can do, features of our environment can either improve this capacity or […]