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Person-Centered and Integrated Care across the Life-Cycle

James Appleyard


The health and wellbeing of a person are complex adaptive processes related to the consequences of genetic, biological, social, cultural, behavioral, and economic determinants throughout the life course.  Circumstances change as the person develops with accumulative risk and protective factors especially during critical and sensitive periods. A life course perspective offers a more joined up approach with significant implications for long term health gain. There is an emphasis on an integrated continuum of early intervention and education rather than of disconnected and unrelated stages. Each stage in the life of a person exerts influence on the next.

Disparities in health outcomes and in the psychosocial factors contributing to them are present early in life and are expressed and compounded during a person's lifetime. Risk factors are embedded in a person's biological makeup, manifested in the disparities in a population's health, and maintained by social, cultural, and economic forces. Research on health disparities has demonstrated the effect of many determinants interacting in various contexts at developmentally sensitive points. We need an integrated conceptual approach to translate this knowledge into effective health and social care


Life course, complex adaptive process, risk and protective factors, developmentally sensitive, integrated continuum, disparities, psychosocial, economic, cultural

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