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Foundations in Professional Healthcare Practice

Introduction

According to Seedhouse 1993, health can be defined as means through which people are enabled to participate fully in society hence finding means through which they pursue their goals. According to World Health Organization 1995, good health could best be defined as the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being of an individual. While The Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine defines health as a state of emotional stability, clear thinking with the ability to love others, ability to embrace change with complete experience on the continual sense of spirituality. On the other, hand health promotion could be defined as means of organizing the society, based on resource distribution, for the purposes of bringing up a healthy disease-free generation (Rutter, 1989, pp 25-51).

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Health and health determinants

Health of an individual and the community at large enables them to enjoy the fulfilment of life as they participate fully in the development of a society. Health could be measured in the international perspective through mortality rate, birth rate, and life expectancy at birth. These are used to compare countries as well as examine trends available in the health sector over a period of time. Several indicators are also used to measure health which includes; birth weight, self-rated health, and mortality rates (Wanless, 2004).

Health determinants

There are numerous causes of poor health based on people’s environmental set-ups. However, maintenance and improvement of a society’s health depends on its understanding of health determinants and strategies in place at a particular time (Mustard, 1996). The main determinants of health include; socioeconomic, cultural and environmental conditions, living and working conditions, social and community influences, individual lifestyle factors, age sex and hereditary factors. Other factors such as demographic trends based on single parenthood also determine the population health. In broad terms social, cultural and economic determinants could be identified in form of the state of income, poverty, employment and occupation, education, housing, social cohesion, culture and ethnicity.

Level of income is one of the determinants of health. Low income is normally associated with poor health since high level of illness and death are always prevalent amongst low income earners. On the other hand, high level of income normally determines other health determinants such as adequate housing, nutritious diet and good education (Judge et al, 1998, pp 567-579). On the same note, poverty is recognized as potential determinant of ill health since those who are poor records higher rates of disability, death, injury and disease. Relative poverty is identified through comparison of individuals with some national or international domain; such norm measures the difference between availability and the potential of future improvement. Income and wealth distribution determines relative poverty and at the same time associates with increased mortality.

Employment and occupation determine presence of adequate income which ultimately influences health. The nature of employment is known to enhance social status which contributes towards enhancement of individual health within communities. Unemployment has been identified to be detrimental to both physical and mental health since it is known to be permanent feature of economic life in many countries. Education, as one of the factors, contributes in determining individual’s social and economic status, hence, their health. Research shows that low level of education contributes towards poor health status. This is because the level of attainment in education always determines occupation and subsequent level of income. Educational achievement is not easily lost and this makes individuals be prepared in making healthier choices in future life such as dietary habits and frequent physical exercises. Thus, promotion of education provides children with opportunity of improving their health prospects. Housing, on the other hand, is analysed in terms of location, quality of environment, cost and level of overcrowding. The level of overcrowding has negative impact on the level of physical and mental health. High costs on housing determine family’s budgetary expenses on other health commodities (Wanless, 2004).

Culture and ethnicity is determined in relation to particular group within a society. Culture refers to overall accepted patterns of behaviour and norms amongst a group of individuals within a society. People are often influenced by a number of cultural influences such as farming, sports, religion as well as social class which acts as central determinant of health and well-being of the specified ethnic groups. Services and facilities provided to specific populations play essential role in protecting and improving their health. Such services include access to clean water and source of energy like electricity (Wanless, 2004).

Different models of health promotion used in health campaign

There are varieties of models of health promotion used in the field of health campaigns. These include medical model, behavior change model, educational model, empowerment model, and social change model. The medical model starts from the primary level where necessary precautions are taken before the start of illness. This includes genetic counseling where future parents get necessary information concerning their unborn child. Immunization of children is one of the preventive aspects applied in this model. Secondary prevention concerns identification of disease before it causes further damage to the body after which the damage should be contained with necessary intervention measures. Secondly, there is a behaviour change model used by health experts in determining good or bad health behaviours amongst people then advising them on appropriate change of lifestyles recommended for good health (HAD, 2003). Educational model, unlike behaviour change model, which is purely instructional, provides individuals with necessary knowledge, information and skills appropriate for making informed decisions about their general health. The empowerment model involves making people take personal responsibilities of leading healthier lives. This makes people to easily gain control over their own lives drawing them towards natural maintenance of healthier existence, it is an approach which is non-directive and client-centred. Finally, we have the social change model which majorly focuses on the link between health, social and economic environment.

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Current health promotion campaign and evaluate how effective it is

One of the health promotion campaigns took place in northern California; it was dubbed Communitywide Wellness Program concerning Coronary Heart Disease. The health experts identified three similar communities with an average population of about fifteen thousand people. Two towns were allowed to share the same TV and radio stations hence had the priviledge of receiving extensive and thorough campaign through the media. The third town was used as control community hence received no campaign since it was located in a far distant away from the media centres in other towns. The campaign was conducted for almost two years and majorly dealt with warnings and information concerning dangers of smoking, benefits of good diet and physical exercises. All the media channels were utilized including posters, newspapers and e-mail (French, 2004).

On evaluation concerning its effectiveness, the researchers used random sampling whereby they selected hundreds of people, men and women aged between thirty-five and fifty-nine years from each of the communities and conducted an interview on the selected persons. The study was done annually, all of them passed through the interview before the beginning of the campaign, a year after and finally at the end of the exercise. The interview involved checking of blood pressure and analyzing blood samples from the same individuals. Also assessed was their knowledge on risk factors associated with heart diseases recent health behavior patterns. The first interview revealed over 100 of the interviewees from one of the two towns as having a high risk towards cardiovascular disease after which they received face-to-face counselling. Then they calculated each participants overall risk on cardiovascular disease by checking data on several risk factors. At the end of the study the medical experts found out that the control community had increased risk of the disease while those in the two towns which were bombarded with campaigns decreased drastically. This revealed that educating community especially the use of face-to-face counselling proved effective in making people change their behaviours hence choosing healthy lifestyles (French, 2004).

Conclusion

Access to health services and the quality of service provided has got great impact on individual as well as community’s health status. Several barriers might at times affect the level of access to health services; such barriers may include costs and availability of health services. Such barriers lead to various unmet needs and inability of people to get appropriate materials on preventive measures. However, most importantly is the nature of interrelationships amongst health determinant factors which determines to a greater extent individual and population health.

References

French, J. 2004.Components of Successful Media Campaigns. HAD Briefing Paper. London: Health Development Agency, in press

HAD.2003. Understanding Changes in behaviour and attitudes towards health services: The contribution of research from health promotion and public health. London: health Development Agency

Judge, K. Mulligan, J. Benzeval, M. 1998. Income Inequality and Population Health. Social Science Med, (46), pp 567-579

Mustard, J. F. 1996. Health and social capital. In: Blane, D., Brunner, E., Wilkinson, R. (eds). Health and Social Organization. Towards a Health Policy for the 21st Century. London: Rout ledge

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Rutter, M.1989. Pathways from childhood to adult life. Journal of Child Psychology, (30), pp 23-51

Seedhouse, D.1993. Core Health Services, Social Values and Democracy. In: NACCHDSS. Ethical Issues in Defining Core Services. Discussion Papers prepared for the National Advisory Committee on Core Health and Disability Support Services. Wellington: National Advisory Committee on Core Health and Disability Support Services

Wanless, D. 2004. Securing good health for the whole population: Final report. London; Department of Health

WHO.1995. The World Health Report: Bridging the Gaps. Geneva; World Health Organization

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