Understanding the Stages of Illness: JoVE Core Nursing

Marketing Dept., | 7 min read
Marketing Dept., | 7 min read

What Are the Stages of Illness?

Understanding the stages of illness can help you manage your health better and seek appropriate care when needed. llness behavior involves how an individual monitors their body, describes and interprets their symptoms to take curative action, and uses the healthcare system. The stages of illness behavior include: symptoms experience, assumption of the sick role, medical care contact, dependent client role, recovery and rehabilitation.

Types of Illness

Different illnesses can progress through various stages, but generally, they follow a similar pattern. Here’s a look at the common types of illness and their stages:

  1. Stage of Acute Illness: These come on suddenly and have a short duration, such as the flu or a cold.
  2. Stage of Chronic Illness: These develop slowly and last for a long time, such as diabetes or heart disease.
  3. Stage of Infectious Illness: Caused by pathogens like bacteria and viruses, such as tuberculosis and HIV.
  4. Stage of Non-Infectious Illness: These are not caused by pathogens, and include conditions like asthma or cancer.

How to Identify the Stages of Illness?

Identifying the stages of illness can help you seek timely medical care and manage symptoms effectively. Here are the typical stages:

  1. Incubation Period of Illness: The time between exposure to the pathogen and the onset of symptoms. You might not feel any symptoms yet, but the pathogen is multiplying in your body.
  2. Prodromal Stage of Illness: Initial, often non-specific symptoms appear, such as fatigue or mild fever. This stage signals the start of your body's response to the pathogen.
  3. Acute Stage of Illness: Symptoms are at their peak and most severe. This is when the body is actively fighting the illness.
  4. Decline Stage of Illness: Symptoms begin to subside as the body overcomes the infection. You'll start to feel better, but it's crucial to continue your treatment.
  5. Convalescence Stage of Illness: The recovery period after the illness. The body is healing and regaining strength.

How to Engage with JoVe.com About Illness?

JoVE.com offers a wealth of resources to help you understand and manage different types of illnesses. Here’s how you can engage with their content and support:

  1. Educational Videos: Access a wide range of videos that explain the science behind various illnesses, their stages, and treatments.
  2. Research Articles: Read up-to-date research articles on the latest findings in medical science.
  3. Expert Interviews: Watch interviews with healthcare professionals and researchers to gain insights into managing illnesses.
  4. Community Support: Join forums and discussion groups to connect with others experiencing similar health issues.


Stay informed and proactive about your health by utilizing the resources available at JoVE.com. Knowledge is power when it comes to managing and overcoming illness.

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