Go through academic routine with a smile

Health Promotion

Health Promotion

The opportunities for living in a good state of health and with impairment are unequal. The probabilities are much higher for people who live in more advantaged conditions than for those further down the socioeconomic ladder. This paper offers insight into evidence of these health inequalities. It starts by considering some key aspects before summarizing the determinants and models of socioeconomic disparities with regard to health. In the past century, since the death rates were high, mortality offered the standard scale of the health of the UK population. Today, greater emphasis focuses on people’s experience of impairment and ill-health: mental and physical ill-health issues and to sensory, cognitive, and physical impairments that make it difficult to conduct everyday activities. Although the pace is slow, however, research and policy have begun to focus on well-being instead ill-being (Place 1997).

The definition of health inequalities often describes the fact that health differs between individuals: some people have good health, and some do not. The term, however, commonly conveys the systematic differences in the health groups occupying unequal status in society. Moreover, health professionals recognize this term as shorthand for disparities in health among socioeconomic groups. Hence, this study concerns other different forms of social inequality, with reference to poverty, disability, and ethnic inequalities. These new appearances of research in this paper highlight how features of inequality reinforce and overlap each other (Bunton & MacDonald 2002).

Understanding the socioeconomic influence on health

Explaining the effects of socioeconomic influences on health

Significant evidence of research in the health field establishes the fact that individuals of low socioeconomic status are much more likely to suffer from illness, be physically and cognitively impaired, experience loss of functioning, and have higher mortality. As explained in Figure 1 by Alberts et al. (1997), this association stands true for all prime causes of functioning loss, morbidity, mortality, and disability. This figure reinforces education as a measure of socioeconomic status and living conditions; similar data by using occupation, wealth, or income will usually show the same relationship (Alberts et al. 1997). Warner and David (200) also in Table 1 below explained a similar relationship between wealth across adult ages and self-reported health holds (Warner 2009).

The Reciprocal Causation and Health Gradient

The impact of socioeconomic conditions on health is believed to start in the prenatal environment and continue all life. Parents’ socioeconomic conditions influence childhood conditions, for example, exposure to infectious agents and toxins. This condition influences health immediately, and much likely continues for years afterward, and the improvement in effects is moderately slight by changes in status in the later years. The health gradient caused by socioeconomic status expands through childhood and during the adult working years and subsequently contracts after retirement. While evaluating the impact of lifetime socioeconomic conditions on health is further complicated by the fact that health factor influences wealth and income, especially among adults. The statistics show that those with poor or fair self-reported health in the past ten years not only gained much lower wealth, but their wealth grows at a lower rate than that of others over the next ten years (Alberts et al. 1998).

Assess the relevance of government sources in reporting on inequalities in health

Many countries have started reporting similar health programs to eliminate health inequalities, for instance:

1. New Zealand: The New Zealand Health Strategy (2009).

2. The United States: Healthy People (2011) is a charter of national health goals. It aims to enhance the quality and life span of healthy life and to reduce health disparities.

3. Australia: Better healthy living for Australians: national aims, strategies, and targets for superior health outcomes into the new millennium (2006).

The Role of Reporting of Inquiries in the United Kingdom Policy towards Inequalities in Health

The United Kingdom government’s approach to tackling health inequalities characterizes by two inquiries: the Acheson Report and the Black Report. As their effect upon policy is remarkably different, they are critical in understanding the relationship between policy and evidence. The Black Report (1980) on health inequalities authorized by the Labour government in the year 1977, classified four possible areas of health inequalities: natural selection, artifact, structural and cultural, but did not observe any role of health care in eliminating health inequalities. The published account met rejection by the ruling conservative government because recommendations were too expensive and because of their political opposition to the issue. Hence, the Black Report left no effect on the policy for nearly a decade (Black 1980).

Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health

The newly elected conservative government installed an independent inquiry in the year 1997, named as Second Black Report. The government instituted the inquiry to review the latest information available on health inequalities to highlight priority areas for the development of policy for the future. The Acheson Report concluded that scientific reasoning recommends socioeconomic explanations of disparities in health. It supported a model, which comprised various layers including the socioeconomic environment and individual lifestyles. While addressing social factors, the reports considered education, poverty, unemployment, transport, nutrition, housing, lifestyle, gender, health care, and ethnicity. The account gave 40 recommendations; three of them received support and claimed to be significant, namely:

1. All policies aiming to render an impact on health should be evaluated in terms of their impact on inequalities of health;

2. The health of families with children should receive a high priority;

3. Further steps will be necessary to decrease income inequalities and modify the living styles of poor households.

This report presented only three suggestions on health care and well-being, stressing its perceived contribution to tackle the analyzed problem in health. The Acheson Report received support and was welcomed by the ruling government, suggesting that some of its recommendations, the executive power was already implemented. Academics welcomed this report though it was not universal and it also received certain critiques by the professional practitioners of health care (Acheson 1998).

Discussing reasons for barriers to accessing healthcare

A wide range of evidence points out that the split between the public and private funding of health services affects access, and use of medical services by different socioeconomic groups. Individuals do not have equal access to healthcare facilities because of monetary reasons that cause desperation to them. At the macro level, there is concrete evidence of a positive influence of public financing on overall morbidity and mortality rates but this leaves a question for discussion as to whether this is an outcome of a uniform improvement in health care across the population (Babazono & Hillman 1994).

Public funding and provision of healthcare services can increase the opportunities for poor patients that are otherwise too expensive, and thus contribute to the elimination of social inequalities in healthcare utilization (Mackenbach et al. 2008).

The prime reason for the barrier made between health systems concerns the nature of primary sources of funding; mainly social insurance versus tax. On the one hand, the health systems based on social insurance, are characterized by a large number of insurance organizations that are independent of healthcare providers, and weaker sections of the communities have limited access to these insurance providers. Health care produced by a combination of private and public providers involves multiple players in this sector. On the other side, in the national health systems of many countries, one central organization handles financing and provisions and usually there is enormous mismanagement of public funding, which directly affects people in obtaining better healthcare facilities (Bongers et al. 1997).

Understanding the models of health promotion

Analysis of the links between government strategies and models of health promotion

In September 2008, the UK Minister for Health inducted the Women’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy to be implemented in two phases from 2008 -2012. It established government dedication to improving women’s health and well-being, with special attention to the links between diversity, gender, and disadvantage. This strategy supports the health promotion model for the wellness of women and reflects the latest development of a more holistic and flexible understanding of female health and good conditions of living. The health promotion model for women well being emphasizes treating women as a homogenous group, looking at how gender and sex interact with social factors including indigenous status, socioeconomic status, linguistic, cultural diversity, and sexual orientation for shaping women’s health and well-being (DiClemente, Crosby & Kegler 2010).

The aim of the UK Sexual Health Promotion Strategy is to eliminate health inequalities and provide fair and effective treatment for STDs, and HIV/AIDS to all people irrespective of their race, ethnic, and gender. This scheme aims further at strengthening some health promotion agencies’ contribution to sexual health protection, and their capacity to assess the influence of health promotion strategies. The tactics also evaluate the impact of public health interventions to minimize both levels of high-risk sexual behavior, and new cases of STIs and HIV. The strategy emphasizes developing a model for the national monitoring of HIV/AIDS and STD prevention activities and mapping sexual health promotion measures both within and outside the Health Promotion Agencies.

The United Kingdom government emphasizes that its citizens are the wealth of the country; as such their mental health is always significant to them. Its Mental Health Model is the spiritual and emotional resilience that enables individuals to survive the pain and enjoy life (Downie, Tannahill & Tannahill 1996).

Explaining the role of Physicians/professionals/nurses in fulfilling government targets for health promotion

Several findings show that there is a significant relationship between regional and national health disparities and the amount of medical facilities available, especially concerning doctors and other professionals. It is also a well-known fact that the consumption of specialists’ and physicians’ services expands with medical density, and such effect is more significant for lower socioeconomic groups as such weaker section approach to specialist’s services is minimal. In systems where physicians and professionals are scarce, an approach to care is most likely to be impossible for all, but more for low socioeconomic groups because of transport/time and income, for example. At the macro level, however, in those countries where resources are abundant, the health care system gives more attention to the allocation of available medical resources and develops systems that target better those who require care the most (Grubaugh & Santerre 1994).

Some national and international professional codes articulate and highlight the ethical code for health professionals. For instance, the ICN code (2005) states, that nurses share with the community the responsibility to meet the health needs of the public, especially for low socioeconomic groups and vulnerable populations. The General Medical Council of the UK claims that physicians and health professionals must work for protecting the health of the patients and the public. The UN health codes also specifically call for professionals to recognize the needs of health care while considering social, economic, and political factors that impact health and to support appropriate health policies of their respective countries (Grignon, Perronnin & Lavis 2007).

Explaining the role of routines involved in promoting healthy living

The current United Kingdom government has implemented targeted policies to tackle disadvantage and poverty that accelerates health inequalities.

1) Health Action Zones: These integral partnerships came into existence after 25 years of deprivation and poor health in the UK, covering 15 million people. Each HAZ targets to design and implement a strategy, which eliminates health disparities. The HAZ, however, has suffered from continuous organizational change since its creation in 1997 and has increasingly been implemented by the government as the carrier for reforms in other sectors, for instance, HAZ resources allocation to the Primary Care Trusts (Leyland & Goldstein 2001).

2) In the year 2000, the NHS plan further strengthen the policy on tackling inequalities in health, though it addressed both preventive and acute health services. It set targets and sets aside funds for improving child nutrition and health, encouraging smoking cessation, tackling teenage pregnancy, and action on alcohol and drug-related crime. It suggested new and improved challenging targets for a large number of screening programs that include retirement health checks, heart ailments, and breast and cervical cancer. It also created a way for establishing new incorporated public health groups at the regional level to work towards inequalities in areas of deprivation (Hanratty et al. 2007).

Understanding factors that influence health promotion

Discussing how health beliefs relate to models and theories of health behavior

The term “health behavior” is widely used to refer to any behavior, which affects, or is believed to impact, physical health outcomes, either by decreasing or increasing their severity or risk. A number of psychological models or health theories produced till now explain, predict, and change such health behaviors. It is possible to divide these theories into two prime groups commonly referred to as stage models and cognition models.

The Health Belief Model

This model popularly known as HBM, was developed in the early 1950s by a group of social psychologists, who were working in the public health sector. They were seeking an explanation for why some people do not adopt health services such as screening and immunization. This model is still popular and widely in use today. This model consists of four core constructs: the first two point to a disease, whereas the last two point out to a possible action, which may decrease the severity or risk of that disease. Perceived susceptibility is the person’s perceived risk of contracting the disease in case he or she likes to continue with the current state of action. The achieved understanding of severity implies to the seriousness of the illness and its consequences as perceived by the person. Becoming aware of benefits are the perceived advantages of the alternative course of action, which includes the extent to which it eliminates the severity of its consequences or reduces the risk of the disease. Perceived barriers imply apprehended disadvantages of accepting the suggested action and also perceived obstacles, which may prevent its successful performance. The implementation of these determinants is popular among health specialists while analyzing health inequalities as they effectively influence the likelihood of performing the behavior (Leu 1986).

Discussing the possible effects of potential conflicts with local industry on health promotion

In the USA and the UK, nationwide agrichemical use has not seen a sharp decline despite increased awareness of the potential damage to human health and the environment. Although the governments have enforced strict regulations in the application of agrichemicals, the results are not encouraging. The executive also offers many subsidies to use environmentally friendly alternatives while local authorities continue to struggle with the agricultural sector. The prime conflict is with policymakers over enhanced taxes and higher prices of alternatives that deter users to abandon the use of agrichemicals, which poses a serious threat to people’s health in the long run. Further, cigarette smoking is a serious public health issue in the UK, the USA, and all over the world. Statistics show that smoking prevalence among men 18 to 40 years of age still exceeds more than 55%, although declined from 72% in the 1990s. High smoking rates translate into a serious disease and economic burden for the countries. In the past years, Federal and Conservative government has introduced a wide array of tobacco control policies.

The key barrier in tobacco control is the policy conflict between the tobacco industry and health officials, which has come into criticism in recent debates, over increased tobacco tax in the US and UK. This policy conflict is not new to these countries; other nations’ experiences also highlight that tobacco control policy is highly under the influence of politics. For instance, an increase in tobacco tax driven by the Indian health ministry receives negligible support from the respective ministry. The tobacco collection tax is a prime source of many nations’ executive policy-making bodies’ revenue. The governments, in such a case, do not want to lose revenue derived from tobacco tax while at the same time directing the tobacco industry to reduce their production capacity and also do not hesitate in imposing higher taxes (Grossman 2000).

Explaining the significance of providing health-related information to patients and public

The United Kingdom Government has come out with a vision of social care, where information services assist to maintain the independence of people by offering them greater alternatives to their health needs. In health care information, individuals received a choice of place and timings for hospital treatments that enable patients to avail services according to their needs. In order to make a choice on information, one needs to build up a transparent view of the available choices and compare the costs and benefits of each. Largely recognized facts determine that not enough is known about what information the population requires or could use in deciding selections of health care. Merely increasing opportunities for people to make choices does not serve any purpose unless the options are available with accessible information; exercising informed options demands relevant, understandable, and high-quality information. Poor data not only render ineffectiveness and optimum choice in the health care system but mislead the patients on how to avail appropriate services. The accessibility of information is one significant aspect that can impact the outcomes and uptake of options and hence unequal usage of available resources. A lack in accessibility of knowledge sources means that patients are not aware of the options available, and thus do not have the opportunity to use informed choice. Information on the latest developments in medical science also informs people of available resources and improved treatments, but this advantage restricts to fewer people, who have enough means to afford costly treatment (Goetzel & Ozminkowski 2008).

Ability to plan a health promotion campaign

Designing a health promotion campaign to meet targets and objectives

In health care practice, integrated health promotion defines as organizations and agencies from a range of different sectors working in partnership with communities by using a combination of capacity-building strategies and health promotion interventions to address priority in health and well–being’s concerning issues.

Health Promotion Campaign from 2012 to 2014

From 2012 to 2014, to provide a greater direction for health promotion, the following features are essential to incorporate in health promotion campaigns.

1. Promote physical activities, and inform its benefits to communities;

2. Help forward healthy eating habits and nutritious food;

3. Facilitate mental health status and well-being;

4. To inform about tobacco-related harm;

5. Spreading awareness for reducing and minimizing alcohol and other drugs consumption;

6. Costs and benefits of sexual and reproductive health;

7. How to live and prevent unintentional injury in a safe environment;

8. To spread awareness of AIDS/HIV and safe sex practice;

9. Informing teenagers about the consequences of teenage pregnancy.

The mass media can assist and convey health promotion messages through advertisements, articles, press releases, or radio and television. These are extremely supporting means of raising awareness regarding health-related issues. Leaflets and handbills can be used to provide information and presentations on healthcare benefits can accelerate the health promotion campaign (Dines & Cribb 1994).

Discussing how this campaign can support health promotion strategies

The following health promotion strategies are best applicable in combination with a health promotion campaign:

1. Health promotion campaign aims at executing those policies, which support healthy social, physical, and economic environments.

2. Such a campaign conveys a strategy to the public regarding health issues and places key health issues on the public agenda with the help of the mass communication media, and other technological inventions that disseminate purposeful health information to the public, and also increase awareness of the significance of health in human development.

3. Health promotion campaigns support health public policy, which demonstrates concern for equity and health, and this enables healthy options easier or possible for people, by creating healthy environments enabling them to lead a healthy lifestyle.

4. These campaigns help lay persons mobilize the necessary facilities to restore or maintain health through self-care activities such as self-treatment, self-medication, and first aid in the social context of peoples’ lives (Couffinha et al. 2005).


This paper addresses key features of health equity such as the health care, amount and quality of services rendered and received by individuals, and their apprehensions concerning the got health benefits. Here, the emphasis has been a focus on health inequalities in socioeconomic groups; the paper primarily concerns health inequalities and health care among individuals with disabilities and the wider population. While, this essay discusses two aspects separately, both constitute to the experience of people with impairments and long-term illnesses. Merely struggling with social disparities in health and confronting social health inequalities between disabled, and nondisabled people are not the ultimate objectives of Britain and the United States health policy. Instead, both are focused to achieve an effective health-oriented strategy.