Approaches to Addressing Health Issues

Approaches to Addressing Health Issues

Do health theories truly define the extent of a public health or social issue?

The social and behavioral sciences have provided myriad models and theories that health professionals often use when developing health interventions. While some of these models focus on changing an individual's health behavior, others encompass social and environmental influences. As described in Week 2, the premise of ecosocial theory posits that the behavior of individuals is dependent upon the dynamic interaction of intrapersonal, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy influences.

Consider the inequitable distribution of rates of obesity when comparing affluent versus lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. Can food deserts (where easy access to cheap fast-food far outweighs the prevalence of healthy and nutritious food) lead to higher rates of obesity in lower socioeconomic neighborhoods? Do social class, education, and culture represent additional contributing factors in these communities? What perspectives or lens can best inform interventions to address obesity in low-income communities?

For this Discussion, review this week's Learning Resources. Then, select a health issue and population of interest. Consider which level in the SEM might most impact changes in health outcomes in your selected population. Reflect on a social or behavioral theory/model associated with a level in the SEM to focus the intervention for your target population.   

This Discussion will be available from Day 1 through Day 7 of this week. You are required to submit your initial post by Day 3. You are encouraged to post early. Once you have submitted your initial post, start engaging in a discussion with your colleagues. You must respond to at least one of your colleagues by no later than Day 5 and should continue to interact frequently with your colleagues through Day 7. Part of what makes a Discussion a discussion and not a lecture is the back and forth, in-depth, animated interaction of at least two people. If you start a topic and none of your colleagues are responding, consider what you can do to get the conversation going. Include something that would elicit further thoughts and different opinions from colleagues. Validate your opinions with references and links to the sources you used so that your colleagues can read them for themselves. See your Discussion rubric in the Course Information tab for specific grading requirements.

Post by Day 3 a brief description of the health issue in the population you selected. State your position as to which level in the SEM would most impact changes in health outcomes for this population and explain why. Then, identify a social or behavioral theory/model that maps to the SEM level. Briefly explain how this social or behavioral theory/model could be applied in an intervention aimed at your target population. Be specific and provide examples.

Remember to begin interaction with your colleagues in the Discussion no later than Day 5 and continue engaging through Day 7.Continue the Discussionby Day 5 and explain how cultural perspectives on health might impact the interventions described.

Support your work with specific citations from this week's Learning Resources and additional scholarly sources as appropriate. Refer to the Essential Guide to APA Style for Walden Students to ensure that your in-text citations and reference list are correct.

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