The Definition of Need
The definition of ‘need’ can have a wide variety of implications. Some experts claim that needs are essential for the realization of the desired goal, whereas others highlight the non-instrumental or social sense of needs. Baldwin, for example, proposed a theoretically-derived definition of need: tension need, which refers to the desire to compensate for dis-equilibrium. Teleological need is a more general definition of need, and it reflects a gap between the desired and actual status of the individual. This need can be expressed in terms of health outcomes, or even in ways that are intrinsically motivating.
Needs have many meanings, and different groups of health professionals define them differently. In the 1970s, the first approach was based on sociological considerations, followed by ‘rational planning’ and resource allocation based on epidemiology. The next decade brought collaborative action, wherein identifying health needs became a central element of health service reform. While some debated these approaches, they did not ignore the importance of assessing needs, and the distinction between them remains crucial.
Green and Kreuter defined need as ‘anything that is necessary for an individual to live a healthy life, and included social and environmental conditions. The definitions tended to be broad and encompass everything from family planning information to seat belt rules and smoking bans. Similarly, Gough and Doyal proposed that needs could be objective, and that people had autonomy over the choice of medical resources. But in order to make this approach work, need should be explicitly tied to health and autonomy.
Needs are universal and should be assessed for their impact on health outcomes. To achieve this, the costs of providing health care must increase by seventy-three billion by 2030. This change would require that Tesla revenues mushroom to $783 billion by 2030, but this will not be achievable without an adequate supply of cash. However, this is a significant shift in the way healthcare is delivered. A key marker of success should be tailor-made services aimed at the needs of individual patients. The difference in ‘needs’ means the emergence of new policies and services.
In a recent article, researchers argued that the definition of ‘need’ was a complex concept. They defined need as the capacity to benefit from health care services. The need was assumed to exist when a patient could benefit from treatment or an increase in their health. There are several aspects that can influence the ‘ability to benefit’ of a person. For instance, epidemiological conditions can influence the effectiveness of an intervention. The need of a person to receive an intervention depends on the type of health it is.
Despite the fact that the need of a person is a subjective concept, it is often difficult to define. It can be difficult to identify a particular person’s needs. However, there is an important difference between a need and a want. The former is a necessity that a person needs in order to live a healthy life, while the latter is a wish. In other words, a person has a need that it wants. The latter is a want.