Over the last several decades, the healthcare system has taken social factors into consideration along with recommendations for regular medical treatment. Researchers and scientists have discovered that drugs usually guarantee a temporary effect in health improvement, while the continuous socioeconomic stability of a person is more influential.
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The case of the Russian immigrant family is characterized by insufficient sleep of its members, irregular food intakes, and decreased resistance to stress due to loaded schedules. Based on the social determinants of health affecting the family, it is necessary to develop a holistic plan with appropriate interventions.
Social Determinants of Health
Social determinants of health often appear among the major causes of various diseases and health problems. Evidence has accumulated that “socioeconomic factors such as income, wealth, and education are the fundamental roots of a wide range of health outcomes” (Braveman & Gottlieb, 2014, p. 19). Therefore, it is necessary to identify, analyze, and address social determinants that affect this family’s health status. The first factor is associated with food and the regularity of its intake.
While breakfast usually takes place at the same time, lunch and dinner are not regular and often delayed. Such circumstances explicitly evidence that each family member does not get enough nutrients essential for maintaining an active lifestyle. Furthermore, the insufficient amount of sleep promotes stress – another factor associated with anxiety, lack of concentration, and discomfort. Based on irregular food intakes, insufficient sleep, and extensive workloads, resistance to stress is gradually decreasing. Thus, the family appears vulnerable and requires a series of preventive health interventions based on both medical and psychosocial approaches.
Recommendations on Age-Appropriate Screenings
Identification of physical health problems in each family member should be performed in a series of age-appropriate medical screenings. Despite physical and emotional wellbeing, parents and both daughters need to pass through general health screening and dental exams. As a rule, general health screening should be regular and conducted annually. A dental exam is necessary once or twice a year and may depend on specific endodontic problems. Furthermore, the mother, father, and older daughter need a reproductive health screening once a year. For women, especially those who have children, a clinical breast exam is also necessary, so a mother’s obligatory need to get tested.
As both parents are forty-five years old, they need to take care of their health and adhere to age-appropriate screening for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. According to official data provided by medical institutions, “middle-aged people are at increased cardiovascular disease risk” (Jankovic et al., 2017, p. 319). That is why a timely initiation of primary prevention is important for the active working population. Both mother and father belong to this demographic group of society, so they need a cardiovascular system screening to prevent the health problems further.
Steps for a Family-Centered Health Promotion
To ensure health promotion and disease prevention, it is necessary to select the most appropriate health model for this particular family. In this case, the health belief model (HBM) is the most applicable because it incorporates a behavioral change in psychological health to predict health-related outcomes depending on the attitudes towards healthcare services. HBM is a powerful tool that explains alterations in health-related behaviors and guides health behavior interventions. Furthermore, education based on HBM “showed efficacy in improving perceived benefits and barriers” (Shojaei, Farhadloo, Aein, & Vahedian, 2018, p.185).
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In the case of this immigrant family, HBM is appropriate for the creation of an educational program that could promote the engagement of each member in positive healthcare improvement activities. A plan of action based on this model needs to provide potential benefits and barriers accompanied by a cue to action with explicit guidelines on how to achieve the expected results.
The promotion of health directives incorporated in the action plan would be based on HBM. Each of its steps should be family-centered and be applicable to each member. Such an approach is utilized because families play a more significant role in health promotion than individuals do. As a rule, family members share similar habits concerning health-related behaviors. Thus, the plan needs to include weekly recommendations regarding regular food intakes, stable sleep patterns, and conventional medical screenings.
To increase the effectiveness of the plan and reduce the emergence of barriers, it is essential to utilize effective communication strategies, developed trustful relationships, and conduct interviews once a month to track progress. Delivering patient education is a crucial communication strategy that ensures the meaningful engagement of patients in health promotion. To realize the plan based on HBM, consistent and regular monitoring and inclusive programs through long-term interventions are inevitable (Shojaei et al., 2018). A family-centered approach with step-by-step guidance and education is likely to stabilize food intakes and sleeping patterns to reduce both physiological and psychological health risks in each member.
Previously, physical factors were the only factors influencing health, while social determinants such as employment, food, and stress appear crucial in predicting health-related conditions and behaviors at present. The case of the immigrant family allows analyzing the influence of social determinants and selecting a health belief model to address the health-promotion effectively. It incorporates a behavioral change in psychological health to predict health-related outcomes depending on the attitudes towards healthcare services. To assure the highest efficacy, communication strategies must be applied throughout the step-by-step guidance providing patient education and possible benefits of health promotion regarding stabilization of sleep patterns and food intakes.
Braveman, P., & Gottlieb, L. (2014). The social determinants of health: It’s time to consider the causes of the causes. Public Health Reports, 129(2), 19-31.
Jankovic, D., Herceg, M., Slotnik, D., Volaric, N., Bekic, S., & Trtica, L.M. (2017). General medical examination of the employed for screening for increased cardiovascular risk. Universal Journal of Public Health, 5(6), 315-319.
Shojaei, S., Farhadloo, R., Aein, A., & Vahedian, M. (2018). Effects of the Health Belief Model (HBM) – A based educational program on the nutritional knowledge and behaviors of CABG patients. The Journal of Tehran University Heart Center, 11(4), 181-186.