When thinking of health education

April 5, 2019 Education

When thinking of health education, there are a number of different ways in which it is approached. The aim of these different approaches is to promote and prevent ill health. Three of these approaches are:
Mass Media= Promoting health through the use of mass media, regards the use of posters, leaflets and adverts etc. Mass media is seen as being the most effective approach to promoting health as, it allows a large group of people to see these campaigns in a short period of time. One of the reasons that this could reach a lot of people is because, due to technology, a lot of people use phones and laptops. Within these devises, mass media often uses targeted advertising, which is when they base the pop-up adverts on previous websites that you have visited. For example, if someone searches for the symptoms of the flu, it is likely that the next day an advert will pop-up about the flu vaccine. Moreover, the information reaches most age groups as the information is provided in both newspapers and TV, is most effective to elder people. And advertisements on social media appeal mostly to the younger generation.
However, drawbacks of using mass media to promote health include the fact that it is not a cost-effective process. This is because, the fact that it is a form of advertisement meant to reach everyone, meaning that a lot of newspaper articles will need to be produced, which would end up costing thousands of pounds. Furthermore, it is unlikely that children of ages 0-9 years will see this information as they are unlikely to read the newspaper, have social media and tv channels that they will be watching will not include informative adverts of how they could improve their health. In addition, if hundreds of newspapers and leaflets are created, it is not a particularly environmentally friendly approach to promoting health, which the environment is ironically, 24% of the reason for global illness. (WHO-2006)
2-way Communication= 2-way communication is the act of directly communicating information to another person. However, in this context, is the act of the directly communicating key health messages between doctors, nurses, teachers etc. Two-way communication can also occur between a patient and their doctor/nurse. The topics of conversation can vary from awareness about sexual health, to creating new techniques to put people off of smoking. Communication about these issues is obviously important to have between Doctors and Nurses, but it is as equally important to communicate these to teachers. The reason for this is because, teachers are responsible for teaching children information, therefore, by communicating this information to them it allows them to teach and aware children. Children being a large focus with public health, as they are the future. Moreover, this approach is effective in promoting Public Health as it allows important information to be passed on effectively, correctly and on time as it is coming straight from the source of information, as appose to a messenger or letter.
However, drawbacks from this approach include the fact that it doesn’t take into consideration someone’s confidence. It is all well and good saying that you need to communicate with people, but for some people that may be a huge struggle. This could be because of anxiety, shyness or even the fact that they may not feel comfortable discussing some of the topics, such as sexual health. Linking to my last point, another factor that could affect this is that a patient may feel embarrassed to talk about their health issues, especially if it is a personal issue. Furthermore, the process is time-consuming and expensive, as it takes longer and costs more for someone to travel to another person, than to send an email.
Local Media/ Community= A community approach to promoting Public Health is when a community identifies its problems and objectives, and from that works on promoting ways in which these problems could be resolved, and objectives can be reached. This approach is very effective as it works on specific problems within specific areas, as appose to just categorising and spending money on problems that in most areas, that don’t exist. Moreover, promoting health would be easier and quicker as it is a smaller area in which the problems need to be known. In addition, solutions to problems would be more specific and effective, and will provide ways in which different ages could get involved.
However, the problem with this approach is that it would end up costing a lot as it is specifically focusing on overcoming the issues in different areas, as appose to just focusing on improving what causes the majority of ill health, such as pollution. There would not be enough money to provide every community with this sort of health promotion, which would cause the argument of equality to come up. Moreover, if someone has very little interaction with their community, there is a very high chance that they will not be aware of the problems that they are facing and more importantly, know how to overcome the issues.
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What is the Health Belief Model?
The Health Belief Model was a form of behaviour change model, which was created in the hope of improving public health by changing behaviours. This model was first set up in the 50s, predominantly by a man named Rosenstock, but had other creators as well. This model was set up so that behaviour could be predicted when benefits outweighed barriers. The key concepts of this model are:
; Perceived Susceptibility= This is the person idea of how likely it is that they will get a condition.
; Perceived Severity= The person’s view on how severe the condition is.
> Perceived Benefits= The person’s understanding of the benefits of changing certain aspects of their life.
; Perceived Barriers= The person’s understanding of the barriers and difficulties they may face by making these changes.
> Cues to Action= The ways in which the person can be prompted to make these changes.
> Self-Efficacy= This is the amount of confidence that the person has the ability to reach their goals and make changes that will improve their life.
What is the Theory of Reasoned Action?
The Theory of reasoned Action is a theory that was set up between the years of 1975 and 1980. It was created by a theorist named Ajzen, in which he proposed that how much someone’s behaviour changes severely depend on the individual’s intentions to make these changes. He used an equation to portray his theory in a simplified way, which was:
Subjective Norm + Individual Attitude Towards Behaviour = Intention.
This equation was a way of roughly predicting what a person’s general behaviour was like. Subjective norm refers to the person’s opinion on certain behaviours and in this case, certain procedures. For example, if the person needed to have a colonoscopy, they would evaluate what that meant they would have to go through and what the outcomes of it would be. An individual attitude towards behaviour regards the feeling the person would have about making these changes. These feelings can sometimes be influenced by media and other’s opinions. For example, if having a colonoscopy, this would be the part is what focuses on the persons feeling about having one and the fears that may come as part of it. Therefore, by adding these two factors together, it combines the views of a situation and the feeling that the person may have, which then shows how willing someone is to make these changes or carry out these procedures. For example, if someone having to have a colonoscopy knows that they it is for the best, but are nervous, it is likely that they will carry it out. Whereas, if someone thinks that it’s a waste of time and doesn’t want to have one, it is likely that they will not carry it out.
Change4life is an organisation that uses cartoon characters to promote healthy eating and exercise. It is aimed mostly at the health of the children but can also be used to promote adult health. It provides healthy recipes, food facts and a number of activities that can be done to improve health and wellbeing.
Health Belief Model: The health belief model is used in the Change4life campaign as it helps to promote healthy eating and exercise in a very


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