Discuss about the Master of Public Health for Health Promotion.
This essay aims to explore the three key issues, which are Evidence and ethics, Readiness, capacity and support and social support. Health promotion enables the individuals for increasing control over and for improving their health conditions. In the recent years, it has moved beyond a focus regarding the behaviour of individuals towards a variety of societal and environmental interventions. While there is often, a focus on the nature of interventions the individuals can use when they consider the practice of health promotion. For practicing health promotion effectively, it is important for ensuring the readiness, capacity and support for action. This essay will demonstrate an understanding with respect to each of the issues and will relate each of the issues to an experience in a particular health profession. In addition, the essay will explore the similarities and differences between the issues in health promotion practice.
The field of health promotion involves action, which is principally premised on the notion of ‘doing good’ and aims to improve and promote health. The promoters of health require reliable evidences for identifying the significant health determinants and choosing the activities for promoting health and subsequently evaluating the efficiency of the activities that have been selected (McQueen, 2009). In the field of health promotion, one of the complex issues is evidence, which needs critical examination with respect to the significance, focus principles and ideological issues of the practice of health promotion. It has been argued that the individuals associated with health promotion should be clear regarding the values and the principles behind their activities of health promotion and they should think how the principles, values, data and ideology interact for producing the evidences. In the field of health promotion, evidence is essential because justifications are needed by the health promoters for making the decisions. Evidence, as an issue has become major in this era economic rationalism as the individuals concerned with health promotion are progressively being asked more for giving justifications regarding their activities by presenting with evidences of value (Eldredge et al., 2016).
The need of integrating evidence and ethics in the field of health promotion happens to be critical particularly when comprehensive interventions for problems are advocated, but direction for action is restricted. Due to this orientation, it has become more difficult for setting the precincts of ethical oppression with respect to this field. A majority of the individuals associated with the promotion of health may possibly disagree on the ethical grounds in terms of the severe precincts for action (Gould, Fleming & Parker, 2012). It is by declaring the irrationality and unfairness of altering anything by means of models, values and preferences that stem exterior to those by the individuals in that selected area, which is to be altered. For instance, taking a community as the selected area of priorities, values and interventions for transformation must originate from the community itself and agents of change should not impose the values, predominantly with respect to those agents of change, which belong to the exterior of the community being considered (Naidoo, 2016).
The current context of the individuals and/or environment, which needs to be altered, must be taken into consideration for any intervention. At the other side of the spectrum of change are those individuals who are concerned with practicing the promotion of health with the help of models are dispossessed mainly from their individual viewpoints and epistemology. The individuals who has a belief that the alteration they have it in mind for making it for the populations or individuals are accurate and for betterment (Bauman & Nutbeam, 2013). For instance, smoking is considered by several individuals, in the area of health promotion as behaviour, which is unacceptable lacking the value of societal mitigation under several situations or frameworks and hence attempts for stopping smoking. Within the aspects of the discussion of ethics with respect to evidence, five areas, which are predominantly critical for health promotion, include complexity and contextualism, consideration of values and concepts, personal ethics and reflexivity-motivations, insufficient evidence, blame, harm and causality pitfalls. In several areas of the modern practices of health promotion, the exploration of evidence of value must develop into questions that associated with the role of the experts (Braunack-Mayer & Carter, 2015).
Readiness, capacity and support are important to understand and explicitly consider when designing a health promotion initiative. In health promotion practice, organizational change is an area, which is under-recognized. However, it is essential to bring about the intended changes, which improves the ability of an organization for addressing the issues of health (Casey, Payne & Eime, 2012). The experts of change management have underlined the significance to establish the readiness of an organization for change and proposed strategies to create it. The readiness for change of an organization is a many-sided and multi-level construct (Capps, 2014). It differs as a function up to what extent the members of the organization value the changes and how constructively they review the three leading determinants of the potential of implementation: situational factors, availability of resources and task demands (Montemurro et al., 2014). When the readiness of change in an organization is high then in that condition, the members of the organization are most probable for initiating the change, exerting bigger endeavors, exhibiting greater determination, and displaying of behaviours that are more cooperative. All of these, results in effective implementation (Edelman, Mandle & Kudzma, 2013).
For improving health, building capacity is an essential element of efficient practices of health promotion. It may be described as an approach for developing sustainable resources, structures, commitment and skills for enhancing the outcomes of health and the other sectors for prolonging and multiplying the gains in health several times over (Jacobs et al., 2014). A variety of individuals, communities and organizations that possess the ability for addressing the health problems and particularly those problems that comes up beyond social exclusion and social inequity are increased by it (Egger, Spark & Donovan, 2013). The approach of capacity building is required by the practices of health promotion for development and interdependence. At times, it has been illustrated as an invisible work in the field of health promotion (Naidoo, 2016). It is mainly the efforts of the practitioners of health promotion and increases the probability that efficient programs of health promotion will be sustained. Capacity building can include the activities as varied as inspecting the opportunities for a plan, developing the skills, asking for support, guiding the creation of associations, supporting the development of policies, and making a contribution to organizational planning (Gould, Fleming & Parker, 2012).
Capacity building and the concepts that are associated with it are utilized in several fields. It has been noted by Bauman & Nutbeam (2013), that ‘partnerships’, ‘community’, ‘prevention’ and ‘social determinants’ are the materials of capacity building across a broad variety of organizations. Additionally, a great deal of work has been carried out which denotes the significance of capacity for working in association and the importance of this in contribution to additional outcomes of health that are effective (Svane et al., 2015). It takes place within the programs and more largely in the systems and is responsible for the greater capability of the individuals, communities and organizations for promoting health. This denotes that the activities of capacity building may be developed within the communities, inter-organizational alliances, groups as well as the individuals in an efficient manner (Montemurro et al., 2014).
Support is important to understand an explicitly consider when designing a health promotion initiative. Several studies have identified the important role of institutional organizations for supporting and the execution of Health promotion plan in terms of commitment, guidelines, coordination and finance (Braunack-Mayer & Carter, 2015). Support is very much necessary and is required by the health promotion plan. The sense of possession and empowerment has been associated with the financial support, particularly if the individuals who are concerned with health promotion could spend the funds in the way which it should have been spent (Edelman, Mandle & Kudzma, 2013). In addition, the institutional organizations should financially support the health promotion plan and should pay for extra contributions and over-time work of the workers of healthcare (Capps, 2014).
It had been identified by several researchers that the biggest factor for health promotion is that the health promoters who are not provided with financial incentives do not play an active role in the practice of health promotion and thus this factor becomes a hindrance in the health promotion practices (Bauman & Nutbeam, 2013). In addition to the support of the institutional organization, the commitment and attitudes of the staff of the organizational institution play a significant role in the success of the health promotion plan. Besides all these, the health the stakeholders and the organizational institutions can provide support in the form of training and workshops, symposia and manuals containing health information would facilitate the exchange of experiences and knowledge effectively (Chou et al., 2013).
Social capital is important for understanding and explicitly considering when designing a health promotion initiative (Murayama, Fujiwara & Kawachi, 2012). It can be utilized as a means of health promotion through societal change along with distribution of the resources in a fairer way. It contributes to the area of health promotion by the addition of new knowledge regarding the interventions of social network that may be designed in a best way for meeting the requirements of the target populations. The differentiation of the diverse types of social capital includes bonding, bridging and linking. All of these can be functional for mapping the types of arrangements that available as health-improving or damaging. The bonding of social capital is exemplified by strong associations which are concerned with the strengthening of common functions and individualities as a source of aid and support between the associates. The bridging of social capital is distinguished by the weaker associations that connect individuals from diverse networks collectively and turn into significant basis of information as well as resources. Linking social capital comprises of vertical associations between the individuals in diverse official or institutionalized hierarchies of power (Murayama, Fujiwara & Kawachi, 2012). According to the different theorists of social capital, the social networks can result in the collaboration with the positive outcomes and are the important contributors from the diverse viewpoints (Capps, 2014).
Bourdieu had specifically viewed social capital as the collection of resources that relate to the individual’s networks of official or casual associations. Social capital can lead to the advancement of the interventions of the social network by recognizing the risk for imbalanced distribution of investment as well as returns from the associations of the social network. It also offers a constructive framework for constituting the environments that support health and guide for achieving the best health outcomes. Enlistment and mapping the social capital in the local population may be way to achieve the community action in order to promote the practices of health promotion. It can offer new ideas concerning the processes, which are responsible for influencing the interaction of individuals together with the collaboration and community action in order to promote health in diverse contexts (Bauman & Nutbeam, 2013).
In the end, it can be concluded that all these three key issues of Evidence and ethics, Readiness, capacity and support and social support have a significant role in the field of health promotion. Evidence is essential because justifications are needed by the health promoters for making the decisions in the field of health promotion. The individuals who are associated with the activities of health promotion are increasingly being asked more for giving explanations concerning their activities by presenting with valuable evidences. Readiness, capacity and support are important for understanding and explicitly considering when designing a health promotion initiative. Social capital contributes to the area of health promotion by adding the new knowledge about the interventions of social network that may be designed in a best way to meet the requirements of the target community. Hence, while designing a health promotion initiative, the health promoters should always take these three keys into consideration for carrying out health promotion practices efficiently.
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