Sociology Concepts in Health and Ill Health

L4.6 Sociology: Concepts in Health and Ill Health
1.1: Describe two theoretical perspectives to health and illness.
In this essay, I will explain the viewpoints of symbolic interactionism and the conflict theory in
relation to health and illness. Symbolic interactionism stresses the social concepts and
understandings that people draw from their social experiences. Whereas the Conflict theory
stresses social inequality and implies that is required
to bring about a just society. While the symbolic interactionism perspective looks at health
and illness social constructs, the conflict perspective is concerned with how health and
illness fit into the oppositional forces in society.
Symbolic interactionism is defined as the use of symbols that form the base of any language
that represents the meanings,that culture has put on physical and social artifacts. The
assumption is, however, that there is an interchange of these symbols in every social context
where contact takes place. These communications, in addition to detecting some signs of
comprehension, are carried out through the process of perception. Communication is thus a
two-way operation. As the interpretative phase involves mediation between the individuals
involved and the understanding of these symbols, it impacts the responses and behavior of
the individual concerned. Herman and Reynolds (1994) claim that individuals are involved in
influencing the social world rather than merely acting on it.
Interpretation of health and illness in relation to symbolic interactionism relies on the
symbolic meaning of what it means to be ‘well’ or ‘unwell’ within society. Health and illness
are considered to be socially constructed. This means that only after physical and emotional
problems are identified as such by members of society can these problems be identified as
good or unhealthy as possessing little with no objective reality. As stated by Gracia Lee
(2017) It is concerned with how people develop shared meanings of health and sickness
through ongoing interactions. This portrays the view that health and illness are
synonymous. For example, in the nineteenth century, people who drank too much were
assumed to be poor, lazy people. In the latter half of the twentieth century, however, people
who drank too much were progressively characterized as alcoholics: people with an illness
or a hereditary predisposition to addiction but were not responsible for drinking. With
alcoholism described as a disorder and not a personal decision, alcoholics tended to be
treated with more sympathy and empathy. However, critics argue that this approach lacks
the impact of socioeconomic differences on health and illness and that many individuals are
at risk for their welfare due to severe health problems, regardless of what they or their
cultures say.
The conflict theory is a viewpoint that highlights the inequalities of the social community. The
theory is based on social divisions/inequities being created as a result of conflicts arising
from the economic and political systems of society. Sociologists also conclude that
differences are created and replicated by the economic and political systems of society,
creating social divisions, classes, hierarchies, oppositions, and conflicts. This theoretical
outlook is widely identified with Karl Marx, who argued that capitalism would lead to its own
downfall as it would eventually lead to internal conflicts. Marx expected the working class to
overturn the capitalist system, and to bring about social reform, advocating revolution for the
working classes and independence from the ruling classes. Marx’s attention was on the
origins and effects of the class conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. Thus, as
stated by Ashely Crossman (2019) The Conflict theory states that tensions and conflicts
arise when resources, status, and power are unevenly distributed between groups in society
and that these conflicts become the engine for social change.
Capitalism and the creation of wealth contribute to the commodification of health and illness,
according to conflict theorists. Consequently, individuals possessing wealth and power are
the ones who make choices on how the healthcare system is to be managed. This
guarantees that they have healthcare benefits, while at the same time ensuring that
subordinate groups remain subordinate due to lack of access. This causes major healthcare
and health inequalities between dominant and subordinate clauses. Therefore when
wellbeing is a commodity, the vulnerable are more likely to suffer a disease, caused by
different factors, such as a poor diet. In addition to this problem, physicians possess a
tremendous amount of influence on the doctor/ patient relationship, which provides them
with substantial social and economic benefits. Although conflict theorists are right in pointing
out some discrepancies in the healthcare system, they may not offer adequate consideration
to technological developments that may not have been achieved without an economic
mechanism to help and reward researchers; a framework that relies on profitability.
However, the power of differential between the doctor and the patient can be the disapproval
of the hard-won medical experience held by physicians and not by patients, which makes a
genuinely equal partnership more difficult.
1.2: Describe Parsons sick role.
In this essay, I will describe Parson’s ‘sick role.’ The idea of the ‘sick role’ originated from the
theoretical perspective of functionalism. Functionalism is a paradigm that sees society as a
whole in relation to the role of its key components. Regarding society as a dynamic
structure, where components function together to foster unity and stabilization. Thus,
Parsons ‘sick role’ means that the sufferer enters the role of ‘sanctioned deviance.’
Consequently, a sick individual is not a contributing part of society, according to the
functionalist perspective.
Parsons’ model was based on the work of Emile Durkheim. Parsons based his thesis on an
organic model, which indicates that he recognized similarities between society and the
human body. (All body parts work together in unity, in the same manner as organizations
work together.) Hence, in order for any society to act productively, as a human body, a vital
element of this is good health and effective medical care. Therefore, an individual’s ability to
play their part in society is adversely affected by ill health, and the functioning/prosperity of
society will eventually deteriorate. According to Parson, ill-health is a type of social deviance
that impairs an individual’s ability to fulfil their natural position in society. As stated by
Ashley Crossman (2018) Parsons argued that the best way to understand illness
sociologically is to view it as a form of deviance, which disturbs the social function of the
society. There are two types of deviance known moderate deviance, comprising of minor
illnesses that can slightly or temporarily delay ordinary privilege obligations or recognize a
few new obligations. The second is serious deviations, such as cancer or epilepsy.
However, according to the theory of sick roles, a person who is viewed as genuinely ill has
rights. However, these privileges were conditional on the patient meeting two obligations, but
if those obligations were not satisfied, their status as a ‘sick person’ would be revoked. The
first is that the injured person is temporarily excluded from doing normal social roles. The
more serious the condition, the larger the exemption. A genuine illness is viewed as beyond
the reach of the sick person and is not curable by mere determination and encouragement.
Therefore, sick people should not be punished for their condition and should be taken care
of by others so they can regain their usual social position. Although they are obliged to get
cured as soon as possible. Similarly, after a certain amount of time, the patient must obtain
technical support and comply with the recommendations of the doctor in order to improve. In
spite of this, Ann Oakley (1974) indicated that women’s rights to the position of the sick have
not been given in the same manner as men’s rights. When a woman is sick, they are rarely
excused from their ‘normal social role’ as a housekeeper/mother.
In Parson’s Sick Role Theory, health practitioners report conditions and offer guidance for
individuals to achieve wellness again.- As well as proving the individual is genuinely and in
need of a more lenient set of expectations. The rights of health care practitioners also
appreciate the hierarchical nature of their interaction with the patient/service customer, the
substantial integrity of their clinical practice, and the need to evaluate patients both
physically and within the framework of their personal lives. However, acknowledging this, the
patient must communicate and co-operate with the doctor in order to answer the questions
accurately and follow instructions. Otherwise, this wouldn’t work. Similarly, health
professionals have a moral duty to be well educated and to apply a high degree of ability and
experience to their practice. Similarly, they ought to be driven by empathy for the patient and
the community. Finally, to be rational and socially neutral and bound by the laws of ethical
behavior, for the wellbeing of the individual. Interpretivism, however, suggests that creating
an ideal-style paradigm for all doctor-patient experiences with only one form of partnership
(led by the ‘expert’ doctor) is both impractical and deceptive. For interpreters, it is very
uncommon for both the patient and the doctor to live up to the standards laid down by
Parsons was also highly criticized for his ‘ideal’ image of the doctor-patient relationship. It
should be remembered, however, that a variety of different relationships have been possible,
taking forms such as paternalism (the doctor has a high degree of influence over the
patient), mutuality (the arrangement is on an equal footing), consumerism (where the patient
has a high degree of control and preference overtreatment) and Default (where the doctor
lowers the level of power during the consultation but the patient stays in a passive role).
Parsons, however, saw ‘Paternalism’ as the perfect partnership in most situations. It may be
stated from a postmodernist point of view that health care, in general, is getting even more
‘consumerist’ in nature as part of the consumerization of society.
1.3: Describe stigmatization and its potential effect upon service users.
In this essay, I will identify and describe stigmatization and its possible effects on service
users. Stigma refers to behaviors and perceptions that cause people to oppose, resist, and
even fear others considered to be different. The stigmatization can be real or interpreted by
the person. Although there can be a deep, negative social association with service users,
especially those who are seen to have ‘less attractive’ symptoms and illnesses.
Stigmatization is known to be undesirable, indeed, as stated by AL Stangl (2019) Stigma is
a powerful social process that is characterized by labelling, stereotyping, and separation,
leading to status loss and discrimination, all occurring in the context of power.
Social psychologists have stated that stigma today is a perception that conveys a devalued
social identity within a specific context, in relation to societies and subcultures. It is also likely
that a person may be stigmatized for a feature that is devalued by one community but maybe
embraced in another community that recognizes a similar feature or may even belong to a
few stigmatized groups. However, this makes it more difficult to identify which group causes
the abusive or discriminatory behavior these individuals are faced with. Consequently,
stigma can disrupt social cohesion and prompt potential social isolation between groups.
This is supported by the recognition of three stigma-related groups. Public/social stigma is
the assumption and behavior of the general public towards an individual/service user that
has one or more attributes that are not respected by that community. Self-stigma happens
when a person starts to accept and internalize society’s stereotypes about their condition or
problem. Lastly, Institutional Stigma is an organizations culture of harmful views, values,
and practices. For example, the labelling of a service user with the use of therapeutic
terminology can be performed intentionally or subconsciously, but it also represents the
Thus, stigmatization affects service users when addressed in terms of visual depiction of
realms and their respective themes. Labelling is the predominant stigma domain. This can
lead to self-stigma where individuals internalize the mark and embrace a new persona and
social status. For example, service users with a mental disorder can be called ‘psychiatric
patient,’ This leads to stigmatization, along with social exclusion. In this sense, the labeling
theory centers emphasis on beliefs of what is perceived to be ‘natural’ behavior, held by
doctors in the profession, which resulted in the inaccurate assignment of more labels, for
example, schizophrenia.
Similarly, stigmatization has been closely associated with discrimination and loss status
within society. Discrimination happens when people or organizations, by their acts, wrongly
disregard and deny others their rights as a consequence of this bias and are used as the
endpoint of the stigmatization phase. Labeling an individual by illness eliminates their
individual identity so that they are no longer treated as an individual but as part of a
stereotypical group. Prejudice is created by the targeting of negative attitudes and beliefs
towards this group. Prejudice thoughts also lead to destructive behavior and discrimination.
Stigmatization may also have an effect on physical and mental health. There is an
appropriate tolerance for such mental health conditions through the beliefs and attitudes of
culture change. For example, anxiety and depression are negative habits that most people
may identify and feel have much in common with. Although the stigma associated with
mental illnesses tends to be worse than previously. This may be due to a lack of
understanding between health professionals and the origin of the stigma. There is also a
need to raise the social understanding of these health problems by current and potential
health providers in order to better enhance the medical experience of this vulnerable group.
As stated by Norman Sartorius (2007) The awareness of the fact that stigmatization is one
of the major if not the major obstacles to the improvement of care for people with
stigmatized illnesses is gradually growing. This shows the clear impact stigmatization can
have on service users health and mental wellbeing.
In order to prevent the stigmatization process and alleviate the negative effects of stigma, it
is important to establish an explicit theoretical structure to drive intervention growth,
assessment, study, and regulation. The Equality Act ( 2010) for example, makes it
unconstitutional to discriminate, directly or implicitly, against individuals with covered
characteristics. Disability is one of these characteristics, with mental health issues falling into
this area. More attention is seen in the media today in relation to health issues, such as
public education programs, especially in relation to mental illness. This shows that, through
stigmatization, the government, policies, and social media are working to raise
consciousness for individuals and service users who are being stigmatized.
2.1: Evaluate two different models of healthcare delivery.
In this essay, I will analyze and evaluate the Biomedical and Biopsychosocial Model of
Healthcare Delivery. The emergence of the Biopsychosocial model was an attempt to
question and expand the traditional Biomedical model. Where the Biomedical Model focuses
on sickness and not health, the Biopsychosocial model suggests that biological,
psychological, and social influences both play a major role in the context of disease and
The traditional biomedical model was established in the 19th century and until recently
influenced approaches to health care delivery. The key moral assumption was that medicine
and knowledge would cure all ailments and disorders. The theory of the biomedical model is
based on an understanding of how the disease progresses, on the identification of risk
factors, and thus on the physical aspects of the illness, whereas the individual is seen as a
living organism. The biomedical model systematically defines diseases in line with the
existence of known symptoms and assumes that a stable body can be recovered by
scientifically based medical care. As a consequence, significant effects on health and
sickness, such as sociological, societal, behavioural, and psychological, are neglected and
the primary objective of this approach is to determine whether or not a disease is present.
This was the key method of how health care would be delivered-focused on the illness, not
the individual or social factors. However, Coward (1989) states that health problems arise as
a result of personal injury, and therefore does not consider social factors to be the cause of
illness. As the Biomedical model sees health and illness as unrelated and therefore not
socially constructed, Consequently, this method does not promote prevention. Instead, it
focuses too much on treatment.
The Biopsychosocial Model was developed by George Engel, 1977, as an alternative in
response to the limitations of the Biomedical Model. It has been made clear that the social
and psychological impacts of today’s health problems and delivery do not meet the
constraints of the biomedical model. The biopsychosocial model has emerged as an attempt
to reverse the dehumanization and disempowerment of patients, formulating a more
empathetic and compassionate approach to health care. Engel believed that health
professionals should attend to the three dimensions of the disease. These dimensions are
biological, psychological, and social in nature. (See Appendix A) This must be done in such
a way that the individual’s sufferings and perspectives are understood and shown that they
have been understood. Engel further argued that a realistic model that relates to roles,
lifestyles, and illness is reflected by psychological and social factors that influence biological
functioning. In contrast to the Biomedical Model, the Biopsychosocial Model considers a
person with an individual lifestyle and not a living organism that has deviated from normal
functioning. As stated by Shane J Mc Inerney (2002) This model leads to the patient being
interviewed as a person with an individual lifestyle and not simply as a patient with a disease
which has deviated them from normal functioning. This provides preventive information for
patients on how to adjust their lifestyles for a better quality of life. Thus delivering more
realistic healthcare through compassion and effective communication. In spite of this, there
may be too much emphasis on the psychological and social aspects. The physiological and
disease process may be neglected or, at worst, ignored. Critics also argue that this model
lacks proven scientific evidence.
2.2: Using a case study of your choice, justify a model of healthcare delivery which would be
most appropriate.
In this essay, I will use The Biopsychosocial model of healthcare delivery, which would be
the most appropriate model when assessing Mr. Raymond Palanca as a case study. The
Biopsychosocial model is an interdisciplinary model that examines the relationship between
variables in biology, psychology, and socio-environment. In particular, the model examines
how these aspects play a role in topics ranging from models of health and disease to human
development. Consequently, Mr. Palanca’s suffering and perspectives are understood and
shown that they have been understood, providing relevant care delivery.
The Biopsychosocial model offers Mr. Palanca the best framework for care delivery. There
are elements that fit into the Biological, Psychological and Social areas. Since his issues are
integrated and influential on each other, it would not reduce or eliminate the problem to focus
on only one element. Likewise, Mr. Palanca has a long-term condition, so there is no cure.
The emphasis of treatment is to alleviate the symptoms as far as possible and to avoid
deterioration so that as far as possible the patient can live a full quality life. It is therefore
made clear of Mr. Palancas biological symptoms due to his long-standing history of chronic
lung problems. Links are well established between smoking and chest infections. Damage to
the respiratory system is slow, progressive, and deadly due to cigarette smoking. Thus, due
to his breathing problem and a decrease in oxygen to the brain, Mr. Palancas may be
confused or it may be the beginning of another disease, Alzheimer’s. He also has mobility
problems to which his weight has contributed somewhat and vice versa. As he is not mobile,
he is not burning excessive calories and therefore prone to gain weight. However, as the
Biopsychosocial model states, biological functions are often influenced by psychological and
social factors related to roles, lifestyles, and illness.
Dynamic interpersonal, biological, and psychological systems interact over the life span with
contextual factors to shape health. The experience of smoking-related symptoms can be
affected by psychosocial variables. Smoking-related physical symptoms are positively
associated with perceived stress, depressive symptoms, and alcohol consumption from a
biopsychosocial perspective. Reinforced by Mr. Palancas heavy smoking, which can be
attributed to his social isolation, depression, anxiety, and borderline feeling. As stated by
Kassel, Stroud, & Paronis, (2003) Two prominent psychosocial factors have been
associated with both smoking and long-term health outcomes: stress and depression.
Therefore this must be dealt with in a way that Mr. Palancas sufferings and perspectives are
understood and shown that they have been understood. – In order to deliver healthcare.
Intertwined with this are social dynamics. Social isolation and loneliness can be increased by
this. Especially as Mr. Palanca lives reasonably independently alone in his own house.
Therefore the risk of mental problems (depression and anxiety), hypertension (high blood
pressure), heart disease, and weakening of immunity is increased. That can clarify Mr.
Palancas difficulty breathing and the overall confusion. This focuses on Mr. Palanca as a
person, addressing issues psychologically, socially, and biologically, through the use of the
Biopsychosocial model of healthcare delivery.
3.1: Discuss how the government measures morbidity and mortality across the UK.
In this essay, I will discuss how the government measures morbidity and mortality across the
United Kingdom. Health, illness, and disease concepts and understandings have traditionally
been associated with the social and cultural circumstances of individuals. A nation’s income
is determined by degrees of morbidity and mortality. Morbidity is a universal concept used to
describe the presence of signs of illness, sickness, impairment, accident. Mortality, however,
is used to identify mortality rates or the number of deaths in a given group of persons for a
specified period of time.
Morbidity can be described as an untoward occurrence or incident that is not a natural
outcome of the patient’s diagnosis or care under ideal circumstances. Morbidity, resulting in
continuity or degradation, may be lifelong.- However, this can provide a focal point for
assessing the efficiency and feasibility of healthcare services to minimize premature deaths.
The effects of morbidity rates differ and the type of illness determines this, such as elderly
people experiencing higher rates of morbidity than younger people. As stated by
(2018) In 2016, people aged in their 80s had almost twice the morbidity rate of people in
their 60s, who had almost twice that of people in their 20s. Therefore, particularly
contagious diseases would have a fast and far-reaching distribution, while some do not,
some dependent on variables such as age.
The degree of morbidity within the United Kingdom is calculated by incidence and frequency
within a given population. This is accomplished by calculating the level of morbidity that
characterizes the number of individuals who become sick (incidence) or are sick at a given
time in a population (prevalence). Incidence refers to the occurrence of new cases.
Consequently, the proportion of the population must also be free of sickness, disease, or
disability before the issue arises. This measurement makes it possible to calculate the
likelihood of a person being diagnosed within a given time period with a disease. The
prevalence rate corresponds to the estimated number of cases of a disease in a country
measured by the overall population which already exists. Therefore, prevalence is an
indicator of sickness that causes the risk of a person developing a disease to be calculated.
This type of information is gathered by the government or localized databases. Data relating
to morbidity is collected from a number and range of origins including Health surveys,
Administrative data from health care records, and Statutory notifications of infectious
The term mortality is used to describe the death rate or the number of deaths in a particular
group of individuals for a certain period of time. The causes of death are typically classified.
These categories include the documentation of individuals with a certain illness, residing in a
particular area, race, gender, or age. Death rates are the best means to assess mortality, as
reports of death are mandatory in the United Kingdom. Therefore, statistical information on
each death is retained, including the name, age, and cause of death. A normal practice that
all mortality rates include: the rate numerator (the number of deaths that occurred), the
denominator (the scale of the population in which those deaths were counted), and the time
during which these deaths happened.- Calculated by government agencies, insurance
companies, and medical researchers.
Comparably, there are varying influences on mortality rates, such as geographical location,
income, morbidity (event of disease or disease), and age. As stated by BBC Bitesize (2020)
Social and economic indicators of development influence population growth including birth
rates and death rates. The use of various forms of death statistics will provide a more
reliable portrayal of local and global health and well-being. Various forms of mortality include
maternal mortality, infant mortality, or age-specific mortality. The country’s overall health
indicator is the rate at which infants die at birth (infant mortality rates). Based on where these
data are collected, this data can differ greatly. For example, infant mortality rates in
developing countries are higher than in developed countries.
3.2: Describe what is meant by social inequality in health and what factors influence it.
In this essay, I will describe what is meant by social inequalities in health and the
overarching variables that influence social inequality. Social inequality is defined as a state
of affairs that may contribute to income, wealth, and health. Differences in gender and
radical communities may also have an impact. As stated by Science Daily (2020) Social
inequality can emerge through a society’s understanding of appropriate gender roles or
through the prevalence of social stereotyping. Thus, Inequality should be assessed in order
to identify patterns and help to find solutions and alternatives.
Social Inequality has social benefits and drawbacks, which are both direct and indirect
determinants of health. -Regulating the circumstances in which people live their lives, how
they function, the opportunities they have, their relationships, and, ultimately, how they see
themselves. The representation of a systematic distinction in health, within a given economy,
is a category of individuals who are usually better or worse off socio-economically than any
other group. Consequently, an individual’s comparative position in a social hierarchy is
determined by wealth, power, income, education, occupational standing, and residential
location. (Which is a social advantage). Around the same time, social groups with less
economic income (poorer individuals, racial minorities, women, physically or mentally
impaired individuals); groups with persistent social deprivation, prejudice, or omission are
seen to be disadvantaged. Age can also be a variable, since, in many countries where there
is a high degree of unemployment, the elderly may find it exceedingly difficult/impossible to
pursue jobs due to their physiological health status and limitations.
This causes differences in the health status/distribution of health determinants within
different demographic groups, in accordance with the World Health Organisation. This
impacts on the spread of diseases and risk factors related to groups within populations,
without limitations on the categories of groups, deemed to be important. This disparity
between these two different groups produces a negative image for marginalized social
classes. Both groups receive poorer health or socio-economic disadvantages than people
classified among the more advantaged social groups. These drawbacks can be seen on a
geographical, local, or global basis. While health inequality can be seen as the natural
advancement in new capitalist economies, the consequences in health inequalities are well
recorded. Inequalities in health have been described as needless and preventable, as well
as unequal and unjust.
There are many factors that, when combined, affect the health of individuals and their
societies. Health, to a large degree, is more often than not dictated by the circumstances of
individuals and their environment. As a consequence, their welfare is determined by the
nature of people’s lives, especially in relation to the social side. It is therefore unfair to
criticize people for ill health, or even to applaud them for good health.- Like many of the
determinants of health and wellbeing are unable to be directly regulated by individuals.
Socio-economic climates often have a huge influence on wellbeing and health inequalities.
Monetary pressures that create wealth inequality will contribute to a widening of differences
in the quality of the communities in which people live. As stated by Public Health Scotland
(2019) The fundamental causes of health inequalities are an unequal distribution of
income, power and wealth. This can lead to poverty and marginalization of individuals and
groups. This often impacts essential aspects such as schooling, neighbourhood schools,
and working practices. As a result of which people’s health-related habits are affected and
the likelihood of being sick rises. The social determinants of health are nuanced. The
association between social determinants and inequities in health outcomes is not recent,
with many historical references in national policy. There are also differing opinions as to
what they are or can be. But it will rely on the environment and the learning/experience of
the participant.
A prime example is the United Kingdom population living in long-term conditions, and the
national health service spending significant time and resources on supporting people with
conditions that are the product of social determinants. Typically, it is just the physical aspect
of the condition that is being treated, and the emotional aspect remains unchanged. For
example, someone who has a long-term respiratory condition has been hospitalized with an
acute exacerbation of their disease and is therefore returned back to the same
circumstances that lead to their hospitalization For instance, they are unemployed and
unable to afford proper heating. In essence, they are being sent back to the same
circumstances that made them ill. This illustrates social inequality and the multiple causes
that lead to the global crisis.
3.3: Discuss the use of health education and health promotion to improve the health of the
In this essay, I will address the use of health education and health promotion, in order to
improve the health of the nation. Health education is any combination of learning
opportunities aimed at enhancing the physical, academic, emotional nature, and social
health of individuals. In order for this to continue, the behavior must be modified or adapted
as a result of health education campaigns. Health promotion is an abstract word for a wide
variety of strategies intended to resolve and address the causes of ill health.
The objective of improving health in the nation is to resolve inequality within the community
through the advancement of health education. One way to improve the health of the nation is
thus reducing inequality, which would encourage everyone to have the same opportunity to
lead a healthy life. As stated by the NHS Health inequalities are the preventable, unfair and
unjust differences in health status between groups, populations or individuals that arise from
the unequal distribution of social, environmental and economic conditions within societies,
which determine the risk of people getting ill, their ability to prevent sickness, or opportunities
to take action and access treatment when ill health occurs. However, a large amount of
time, money, and resources have been spent to resolve health inequalities in the nation.
Unfortunately, many of these inequalities have been relatively stagnant over the past
decades. Throughout the same time, an action aimed at mitigating these disparities
concentrated largely on improving lifestyles within people with the poorest health.
Health education and promotion rely in particular on the alteration of actions in regards to
diet, drink, smoking, and sexual activity. All are deemed to be risky habits. The initiatives
have tried to focus on improving wellbeing and shifting attitudes in this area. Issues related
to wellness habits and the uncertain efficacy of public education programs on safe practices
often emerge in conversations of health policy progress or failure. Issues related to health
behaviors and the uncertain efficacy of public education programs on healthy practices often
emerge in conversations of health policy progress or failure. For example, national policies
adopted in various nations have helped to decrease smoking levels, but not the social
inequalities that build-up of that addiction. This equity-based strategy can then be used to
illustrate determinants that public policy can more legitimately aim. The reason why the
intervention is ineffective is that the disadvantaged can only change their behavior when
their social and economic conditions have improved. If these conditions may not alter in the
face of lifestyle changes, they can replace one coping mechanism with another that may
have potentially detrimental impacts on health and well-being.
By the use of health education and promotion, efforts to eliminate health inequality means
having a holistic approach. The implementation of a community involvement strategy
involving local citizens can lead to the effectiveness of some of these interventions/initiatives
with a view to improving health. Influencing the community on which issues should be
prioritized for action. It is predicted that giving communities greater influence and autonomy
over decision-making that specifically impacts their lives is more likely to enhance
involvement in results that effectively enhance public wellbeing and health inequalities. The
NHS has developed a long-term strategy to reduce health disparities by 2023/24 and
2028/29. This plan aims to promote local planning and ensure that national efforts
concentrate on addressing health disparities. It lays out clear, measurable objectives for
reducing inequality. This involves poverty elimination, by infrastructure developments.
However, there are currently weaknesses in policies, such as the division of health
information by ethnicity or ethnic group; the denial of access to health care services by Black
and ethnic minorities enforced racial stereotypes.
Therefore changes are to be made to invest in health promotion. As well as Identifying
wellness needs and goals, getting a good picture of what you are contributing to and why, as
well as identifying goals is essential. Secondly, when defining goals and targets; health
objectives are usually represented as the goal or the final state to be accomplished. They
are sequential as well. Both priorities will include health education and awareness-raising in
order to reach the community. As stated by the World Health Organization (2020) Bringing
together all societal and personal influences to raise awareness of and demand for health
care, assist in the delivery of resources and services, and cultivate sustainable individual
and community involvement. This provides a good indicator of the use of health education
and the promotion of the overall development of health in the country.
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Assessed 22/09/2020
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Assessed 23/09/2020
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Assessed 25/09/2020
8. Shane J Mc Inerney (2002) What is a good doctor and how can we make one? The
Assessed 25/09/2020
9. Kassel, Stroud, & Paronis, (2003) The early health consequences of smoking:
Relationship with psychosocial factors among treatment-seeking Black smokers.
Assessed 25/09/2020
10. Anon (2018) Chapter 3: trends in morbidity and risk factors.
Assessed 26/09/2020
11. Anon (2020) Population, distribution, growth, and change. BBC Bitesize.
Assessed 26/09/2020
12. Anon (2020) Social Inequality. ScienceDaily.
Assessed 26/09/2020
13. Anon (2019) What are Health Inequalities? Public Health Scotland.,marginalisation%20of%
Assessed 26/09/2020
14. Anon. Reducing health inequality resources. NHS.
Assessed 27/09/2020
15. Anon (2020) Health Promotion. Wolrd Health Organization.
Assessed 27/09/2020
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