Page 3-6 LO1: Concept of health and definitions.
Models and approaches.
Theories of health behaviour. Page 6-7 LO2: Factors and influences on health.
Page 7-9 LO3: Politics of health promotion.
Sources of information for deciding a need for promotion. Ethics of health promotion.
Page 10-11 Bibliography.
This essay will begin by discussing the different definitions of health that have been put forward, and will also discuss the necessity of health promoters to be able to understand why there are differing definitions of health and the importance of the difference in our understanding of what health means to the individual. There have been many definitions of health, which include phrases such as ‘absence of disease’, and ‘ability to cope’. The World Health Organisation (WHO) (1946) gave its definition of health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’. However, it is very difficult to define health due to its complexity and broadness. Health and well-being can be described as the absence of physical illness, disease and mental distress. This is a negative definition of health and well-being, as it is impossible for a person to free from illness or disease. Health and well-being can also be described as the achievement and maintenance of physical fitness and mental stability. This is a positive definition of health and well-being or health and well-being as being a result of a combination of physical, social, intellectual and emotional factors. Stimson and Webb (1975) carried out research which suggested that people have their own private comments on their own ill health, compared to what they chose to tell their doctors. The research indicated that people did not always believe or accept the medical explanation given for their illness. The study suggests people hold their own views and hold their own explanations for ill health. (Doyal. L. at el. (1991) A Theory of Human Need. London. Macmillan) Health promoters have to collect a significant amount of information before they can put out a campaign on a particular disease. They have to look at health models and their approaches and even statistical information from CENSUS reports, death certificates, survey’s, and even General Practitioner (GP) records and so on. The World Health Organisation (WHO) defined health promotion as ‘enabling people to gain control over their lives’ (WHO 1986). There are four approaches to take in to consideration before putting together a health promotion campaign, and they are: The medical approach: this focuses on activity which aims to reduce morbidity and premature morbidity. Activity is targeted towards whole populations of high-risk groups. This kind of health promotion seeks to increase medical interventions which will prevent ill health and premature death. The medical approach is conceptualised around the absence of disease. It does not seek to promote positive health, for example ‘Smoking advertisement’, smoking adverts only advertise damage the body will develop through regular inhalation of tobacco. This kind of promotion can be criticised for ignoring the social and environmental dimensions of health. In addition, the medical approach encourages dependency on medical knowledge and removes health decisions from people concerned. The medical approach also relies on having an infrastructure capable of delivering screening or an immunisation programme. This includes trained personnel, equipment, laboratory facilities, and information systems which determine who is eligible for the procedure and record uptake rates. And in the case of immunisation, a vaccine which is effective and safe. The educational...
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