Public health remains one of the major responsibility and challenges of the authorities. The cost of treating disease in our community has been so costly for Government and taxpayer both in term of money and lost life. Preventing Disease has therefore become the best option to effective public health effort. Health promotion is activities of Public health that disseminate information to self empower individual to take control and improve their health by preventing the threat of diseases on them. This essay aim to explain how social economical factors affect individual health, the model used for health promotional to improve public health, factors influencing health promotion and how to plan for health promotion program campaign
1.1 Explain the effects of socioeconomic influences on health.
According to World health organization Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO 2015). Study has revealed that social economical factors are the largest influence of individual health. Social economical factors refer to factors such as occupation and income, unemployment, education etc. Poor social-economical factors have been blame as the major cause of poor health (Turrell (1999). Additionally, health inequality has also been found to be largely contributed by poor social-economical factors (Sociold n.d).
Studies have established relationship between individual health and their level of education. Well educated individuals have improved health condition as compared to that not well educated. According to a study conducted by Cutler and Lleras-Muney (2007), educated people have lower morbidity rate from acute and chronic disease as compared to those who are not educated. Groot and Maassen van den Brink (2006) argue that one years of education result to improved Quality of adjusted life year by 0.036. It is also argued that educations improve the critical and logical thinking of individual which help them in make healthier decision.
Research has also identified connection between connection between level of income and individual health. Individual with high income are said to be healthier that low income earner. According to Sociold (n.d), the income level affects individuals’ life including the number of hours they work, where they live what they eat etc. High income earner work for fewer hours lives in safe house and has the ability to maintain healthy lifestyles. On the other hand low income earner are forced to work extra hours to supplement their income leaving them with less or no time to relax, cannot afford to maintain healthier lifestyles and live in unsafe house. This contributes to poor health.
Unemployment means no income to meet basic needs such as food, shelter and clothing. Lack of these basic things automatically results to poor healthy. Additionally, unemployment has been found to be majors cause of mental health related issues such as stress and depression (Turrell 1999).
It is with no doubt that social economical factors are key determinant of public health. The health and wellbeing of the generation population of UK can therefore be improved by improve the social economical factors (SES).
1.2 Assess the relevance of government sources in reporting on inequalities in health
Health inequality can only be tackled if the scope and the nature of such inequalities are identified. There are different ways in which the government try to understand and report on the inequality that exist within our healthcare sector.
Health survey for England (HSE) has proven to be a very reliable source of information relating to healthcare inequality. The survey is conducted on yearly basis in England with the aim of understanding, the physical, mental and social health of the public. For the last 10 year health survey has providing vital information that is used to identify health inequality in healthcare. The information provided by HSE has help both the Government and other public health care stakeholder such World health organization and EU in setting health priority and strategies to address those inequalities.
Various inquiries commissioned by the government have also been very helpful in assessing, identifying and reporting the nature of the health inequality. Key among them includes the Acheson inquiry, the Francis inquiry, black report the Whitehall study among. These report/inquiries have been very useful as they provided data and information relating to health disparities that help the government set priorities area and develop policies meant to address inequality.
Despite these sources providing vital information about health disparity since 1980 e.g. black report, it very unfortunate that health disparities continue to be experienced to date. This means that the government fails to act on such information effectively.
1.3 Discuss reasons for barriers to accessing Healthcare
There are different factors acting as barrier to the access of healthcare in UK. These includes
According to Szczepura (2014), black and minority group is one mostly affected by these barrier due to linguistic a competency and difference in culture. Most of Black and minority individual have low proficient in English make communication between them and healthcare provider difficult especially where the care provider lack linguistic competency.
Cultures do also influence the delivery of healthcare services especially to the minority group. According to Arksey (2003), Culture affects individuals’ health beliefs and behaviours including how they perceive illness and disease and how and where they seek help to treat them. Different ethnicity and races responded differently to illness and disease due to their health belief and behaviour. Some culture may discourage access to healthcare services due to issue such as stigmatization and somatisation associated with certain illness and disease. People suffering from such diseases may shy off from seeking the healthcare services for fear of victimization, and stigmatization from their culture
Barrier to healthcare services may be sometime caused by poor provision of services. They are those services that are readily available due to the demand for them however; they are those healthcare services that may not be adequately provided due to the limited demand. For instances, sickle cell anaemia which is among people of African origin may be inadequately catered for by the healthcare system since the disease is not common to the majority of white population. These minority services may therefore be poorly provided hindering the affected group from accessing them (Szczepura 2014).
The local of health and social care services may also act as barrier to access of healthcare services especially for the mobile population such as traveller gypsies. As this group movie to new place, providing services such as advocacy and link worker may not be immediate making it hard for them to access services (Atterbury 2010).
2.1 Analyse the links between government strategies and models of health promotion
Health promotion is defined as the process of enabling people to take control over and improve their health (WHO 1989). This is achieved by using four common model namely social model, medical model, and behaviour change model and health education. The government strategies for health promotion are usually linked or related with this model
Under medical model, health promotion is done through medical treatment meant to reduce or prevent the impacts of disease on the population (Riverside community health foundation n.d). Several government strategies for health promotion are under this model. For instance, the regular vaccination exercises such as children flu vaccine, 5-in-1 (DTaP/IPV/Hib) vaccine, HPV vaccine etc a good example of government strategies under medical model meant to protect and promote the health of the public. Under social models, the government strategies aims at ensuring social and physical environment does not have any negative effect on the health of population(Riverside community health foundation n.d). Several notable strategies under this model includes the safety at home, safety at work requirement, sun protection strategies etc. Behaviour model advocates for changes in behaviours for healthier lives (Riverside community health foundation n.d). Several of government strategies for health promotion are meant to changes individual behaviour for healthier life. Example of such strategies includes the change4life campaign which tries to advocate for health lifestyles. NHS smoking cessation also aims to encourage people stop smoking. Health education is another model of promotion that influences government strategies. This model is based on the idea that if people are given the right information at the right time they would be able to take control over their health. Several government strategies under this model include sex education, healthy eating, and anti-smoking campaign among other.
As a smoking cessation officer, medical model, behaviour change and health education would be very instrumental in helping me reduces the number of registered smoker. Medical model would be used to help individual quit smoking and deal with the withdrawal symptom effectively. Medical intervention such as nicotine replacement therapy would be used. I would also encourage people to changes their smoking behaviours. Providing them with health information related risks associated with smoking to discourage them quit smoking.
2.2 Explain the role of professionals in meeting government targets for health promotion
The government relies on health and social care professional to achieve it health promotion agenda and objectives. Health and social care professional are therefore very important in health promotion. Being a smoking cessation officer, I would perform various roles which includes
- Identifying health promotional needs as far as smoking is concerned
- Plan, develop, implement and evaluates health promotional programmes meant to encourage people quit smoking
- Manage the dissemination of health promotional material relating to smoking cessation
- Take leading role to discourage patients and staffs from smoking
By performing the above role I would be helping people quit and change their smoking behaviour which is in line with government objectives of reducing smoking rate in UK.
2.3 Discuss the role of routines in promoting healthy living
Routines refer to activities that are repeated regularly. The activities that we do repeatedly in our life have effects on our health and wellbeing. It is therefore important that the things we do regularly are promoting our health. According to CCHP (2010), by simply engaging in healthy routine such as physical activities, mealtime, etc, individuals can greatly improve their life to a larger extent. Being a smoking cessation officer, I would encourage healthy routine among smokers. Since majority of smoker has an established smoking routine, I would encourage and support them to replace those unhealthy routine with healthy one. For instance, smoking routine can be replaced by healthy routine such as physical exercise, eating etc. According to NCI (2015), boredom is of the trigger of urge to smoke. By helping smoker establish routines, their changes and opportunity of smoking would reduce.
Generally, routine play a lot of Role in promoting individual health. It enables individual take control over their life and health and it also facilitate behaviour changes (CCHP 2010)
3.1 Explain how health beliefs relate to theories of health behaviour.
People hold different beliefs about illness and disease, their cause and their treatment. These beliefs are known as health beliefs. There are some health beliefs that hinder health promotion including resistance to seek health services, among other. There are several theories of health behaviours which explain how these beliefs can be changed.
The health belief model was developed to explain why people may make changes to their behaviours. According to these models there are four factors that influence people to make changes to their health behaviours; the perceived severity, susceptibility, benefits and barrier and the modifying factors. Severity is all about the perceived seriousness or density of a behavior, susceptibility relate to the vulnerability of individuals. Benefits refer to positive gain expected to be gained if an individual changes behaviors. Barriers refer to the costs individual attributes to behavior changes such as discomfort, structural changes, and expenses among other. This theory can be very helpful in helping people changes their unhealthy behaviors. Individual needs to be given information that shows them how dangerous it is to continue with their lifestyle choice and the advantages of changing their lifestyle.
The theory of reasoned action as developed by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980), argues that there is a strong relationship between attitude and behaviors. According to AJzen and Fishbein (1980), individual behaviors including health behaviors are determined by the person intention to acts. The intention to act is in turn influence by two factors; the individual attitude toward the behavior and the perceived reaction from other people considered important in their life. So generally speaking this theory argues that behaviors are changes are people attitude toward those behaviors is positive and when they expect positive reaction from other. This theory can be used to changes people unhealthy eating behaviors by influencing their attitude through the right information.
3.2 Discuss the possible effects of potential conflicts with local industry on health promotion
Tackling obesity has left authority with no option but to deal with the roots cause. Researcher has established fatty foods and sugary drinks as the cause of obesity. Regulating and discouraging the consumption of such foods and drinks has been cited as the best option of dealing with obesity by different health experts including the world health organization. However, a conflict with local industry is inevitable. According to World health organization (WHO 2013), government should heavily tax the so called unhealthy diet to discourage their sale and consumption. The taxes raised should be spent on health education and other health promotion programmes. Although this is a viable measure, a conflict with local food industry is unavoidable. Local industry would argue that such measures are meant to kills their busy which the government relies on for taxes as well as to employee citizen.
3.3 Explain the importance of providing relevant health related information to the public
Majority of people make poor bad lifestyles because they lack the necessary health information to guide them. However despite others having the right information they go ahead and make poor lifestyles choice due to ignorance. Information can be helpful in the both scenario. By providing health information awareness of risky and unhealthy lifestyles is made. Equally, by constantly reminding people about the risk they are by continue with their lifestyles can help kill the ignorance they have.
In tackling obesity, information can play a greater role in changing people unhealthy eating behaviour. According to Luck et al (2015), health information is a powerful tool of changing people behaviours toward a healthier one. By providing the public with the right health information they would be in a position to differentiate what unhealthy and healthy diet mean. These would help them in making wise choice when it comes to buying food stuffs. According to health belief model, individuals only change behaviours when they see the serious of a condition and their susceptibility to the condition. These mean health information can be successfully used to changes those people who are ignorant about what they eat. By giving them information relating to the seriousness and health risk associated with obesity as well as their vulnerability to the condition, individuals would eventually changes their behaviours and start being concerned about the healthiness of the food they consume.
4.1 Plan a health promotion campaign to meet specific objectives
According to The health communication unit (n.d), health promotion campaign is a way of distributing health related information to the public with the aim of encouraging behaviours change. Health campaign has been found as one of the most tool of health education. However, the effectiveness of any campaign depends on how well it was planned. In planning a health promotional campaign it is necessary to make decision relating to the
- Objectives and goal of the campaign
- The targeted population in the campaign
- The media to be used for the campaign
- And the budget for the campaign as well as
- How to evaluate the outcomes of the campaign(THCU no date)
In tackling obesity I have devised a health promotion campaign dubbed “you are what you eat” whose objectives is to encourage people watch what they are eating as it determine they healthier (a poster of the same is available at appendix). The campaigns also aim to help people differentiate unhealthy and healthy diets. The goal of my campaign is to changes people dietary choice toward a more healthy diet. Several media would be used for may campaign including newspaper advertisement, poster in convenient stores and in food selling joints and internet. The outcome of the campaign would be measured through survey to assess the number of people influenced by it.
4.2 Explain how the health promotion campaign supports health promotion strategies
Obesity has become the nightmare for the government as well as public health stakeholder in UK. Nearly 67.2 percent men and 57.2 women are obese or overweight in England alone (HSCIC 2015). The risks associated with obesity are well known includes diabetes, cancer, coronary disease, premature death among other. The government has responded to this menace by adopting several health promotion strategies including health education. The health campaign I have planned would be contribute significantly to health promotion strategies as it would not only encourages behaviour changes relating to eating lifestyles but would also help other form becoming obese by proving them with constant reminder that their health is determined by what they eat.
The discussion in this essay has explained hoe social economical factor influence our health and how they contribute to health inequality. Poor social economical factors lead to poor health and increase the healthy inequality. By effectively addressing these factors, the public health can improve significantly as well as reduces the health inequality.
Health promotion plays very important roles in improving individual health. It can take different approaches based on the model used. Health education and promotional campaign is one of the most ways of health promotion. Proper planning though is needed when designing a health promotional campaign. It is therefore important that the government or stakeholder involved in health promotion campaign take their time and resources to plan, implement and evaluate any promotional campaign