Recognising the changing boundaries of illness in defining terms of chronic illness: a prelude to understanding the changing needs of people with chronic illness

Aust Health Rev. 2001;24(2):207-14. doi: 10.1071/ah010207.


Definitions of chronic illness do not reflect the changing nature of chronic illnesses. When definitions in the literature, which guide and inform thinking in a field, remain static they are in danger of creating stereotypes. This can have an adverse influence on the care of people with chronic illness. Debates over the use of terms associated with chronic illness will lead to a better understanding of the place of chronic illness in the world of health and illness and ultimately lead to services that better meet the needs of consumers.

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Biomarkers
  • Chronic Disease / classification*
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Chronic Disease / psychology
  • Cost of Illness
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Disabled Persons
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / trends*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Prejudice
  • Sick Role


  • Biomarkers