Health Education In Action

Examining Factors that Influence Health Status

According to the WHO, health is referred to as the state of mental, physical, and social well-being and not just the lack of presence of any illness or disease among individuals.

In relation to the health status of the public, various factors are responsible for influencing the health status of people.

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According to the Biopsychological Health Model, biological factors such as physical health needs, mental disability, genetic vulnerabilities, and others are responsible for influencing the health status of individuals (Barker et al. 2015; Aldwin et al. 2017). The biological factors influence the health status of individuals in the sense that inappropriate genetic framework, hindered mental health, attack of microorganisms on the body, impact of disease-causing germs to impair organ function in the body, and others negatively affect the health of individuals, making them sick or diseased in nature (Glick et al. 2016).

The physical health needs are referred to the demands and objects that avoid an individual from moving freely. This influences the health status of individuals to become disabled to take their own care and perform everyday activities without assistance, making the individuals a burden of care on the family and society (Çelebi et al. 2017). For instance, due to the physical disability of individuals in Tower Hamlets, it is found that 47% of disabled people are unemployed in the area on the condition that they are unable to perform work properly when recruited and need care assistance from others ( href="http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk" target="_blank">www.towerhamlets.gov.uk, 2018).

The mental disability or illness is referred to the barriers that influence individuals to lose their ability to think and lead a normal life. This, in turn, influences the health status of individuals to show inappropriate behavior, perform activities in a hindered way, and others (Crichton et al. 2016).

The genetic vulnerabilities are referred to mutation, deletion, or inappropriate genetic structure of individuals, which influences their health status in a negative way by making them crippled, develop disabilities both physical and mental in nature, deteriorated health conditions, and others (Liu et al. 2018). For instance, it is informed that 10% of the negative health status and lower life expectancy of people in Tower Hamlets are due to the influence of genetic factors (href="http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk" target="_blank">www.towerhamlets.gov.uk, 2018a).

The Social Model of Health informs that socio-economic factors such as gender orientation, family relations, race and ethnicity, education, economic status, and others along with cultural, political, and environmental factors are responsible for influencing the health status of individuals (Alley et al. 2016).

The cultural factors are referred to the way of living adopted by an individual or a group confined to living in a defined area. The cultural factors influence the health status of individuals by making them develop personality and perception to avoid accepting certain medication, lack of beliefs regarding causes of diseases, hindered approaches to health promotion, avoid seeking health assistance, and others (Arévalo et al. 2015). For instance, the cultural perception of South Asian individuals living in Tower Hamlets who are suffering from mental illness is that it is a disease that comes with age or occurs as punishment from God. Moreover, the family members affected by the illness cannot be exposed in society as it is going to bring shame for the family in society, leading them to be isolated and mocked (href="http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk" target="_blank">www.towerhamlets.gov.uk, 2018b).

Social factors such as gender orientation of individuals also influence the health status. This is because gender-based differences are seen in society, which leads to creating partiality between men and women in the availability of healthcare resources, power of decision-making, roles and responsibilities regarding health intervention, and others. It influences women to get deprived of basic health resources in society, negatively affecting their health status as they are the lower and oppressed gender in society compared to men (Hajek et al. 2016). For example, in Tower Hamlets, it is seen that 40.5% of women are economically inactive compared to only 19% of men, which means that fewer women in the area are economically able to take their own care and are not oppressed by men ( href="http://www.towerhamlets.gov.uk" target="_blank">www.towerhamlets.gov.uk, 2018b).

Employment factors influence the health status of individuals as employment is regarded to offer economic efficiency to the population to be able to have finances to spend for accessing care regarding the treatment of health issues and others (Leijten et al. 2015). Thus, the lack of proper employment means individuals lack the economic ability to avail care to have improved health standards. Moreover, employment factors also influence the health status of individuals in the sense that unemployed people often experience depression and stress due to their condition, making them mentally ill (Miki et al. 2016).

Educational factors influence the health status of individuals in two ways; firstly, providing information on causes, risk factors, and available treatments regarding diseases to make people aware of their health through health education, and secondly, through education, people are influenced to develop critical thinking and make healthy choices for living a healthy lifestyle (Kure-Biegel et al. 2016). Thus, this indicates that effective health education is reduced to assist people in developing a healthy lifestyle.

Environmental factors are referred to as the external conditions and surroundings such as vegetation, soil, climate, water, and others that affect human lives. The presence of polluted and unhygienic environmental factors negatively influences the health status of individuals by making them sick and developing diseases or health disorders as they are unable to live healthily in natural surroundings and external conditions (Milligan et al. 2016).

Different factors that influence the health status of individuals create barriers for individuals to access healthcare. This is evident as psychological factors can create barriers for individuals to think properly, making them unable to understand and decide the nature of healthcare required for them (Edmondson et al. 2016). Thus, it would lead people with mental illness to become deprived of proper healthcare opportunities.

The lack of availability of proper resources creates barriers in healthcare by making the patients experience a lack of required healthcare intervention at the right time, leading to deteriorated health conditions (Regan et al. 2017). For example, the lack of a proper number of healthcare staff as a resource for the patients would make them experience delayed care, adversely affecting their health. This is evident as in 2019 it is still found that there are 41,000 vacancies for nurses in various hospitals and trusts across the UK, creating barriers to getting timely healthcare services by the UK population href="http://www.health.org.uk" target="_blank">www.health.org.uk, 2019).

The communication factor acts as a barrier to accessing healthcare, as improper use of languages other than English in the UK, which is not known by the individuals, would make them unable to understand the instructions regarding managing their health. Furthermore, the migrant population who do not know English would experience hindrances in understanding healthcare instructions in the UK, creating barriers to healthcare for them (O'Halloran et al. 2015). Health beliefs related to gender concepts, in which men are offered a better position compared to women to receive healthcare as women are meant to remain oppressed in society, create barriers for women to receive proper healthcare (Skinner et al. 2015).

Geographical factors and transportation can create barriers in healthcare by making individuals unable to access proper healthcare resources and interventions due to a lack of transport and geographical barriers that hinder their reach to healthcare services (Atuoye et al. 2015; Lankila et al. 2016).

Investigating the Impact of Health Beliefs on Well-being and Illness

The Rosenstock’s Health Belief Model is referred to as the model involved with health decision-making, in which the way one understands certain conditions influences individual health behavior (Zamboni et al. 2017). In contrast, illness is referred to as any disease or longer period of sickness that affects the mind and body of individuals (Vigo et al. 2016).

According to the Health Belief Model, self-efficacy is a nature of belief directly related to illness. Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief regarding their innate ability to achieve goals. This is directly related to illness in the sense that a person with better self-efficacy would have increased intention to avoid risky behaviors that hinder their health and adopt effective health measures to improve their health condition, thus avoiding illness (Rutten et al. 2016).

The unrealistic optimism health belief among people makes them perceive that they are more secure in the future from illness and health issues compared to an average person. This nature of a person perceives that negative health events in the future are less likely to happen to them and avoid taking precautions and measures to cope with illness, making them vulnerable to diseases (Nabi and Prestin, 2016). The health locus of control refers to the beliefs adopted by people based on past incidents regarding health issues. People with an internal locus of control believe that they are mainly responsible for their illness without considering external factors, while people with an external locus of control believe that chance, environment, and fate have a greater influence on making them ill (Sisk and Malone, 2018).

Health professionals and service users believe that communication has an effective impact on the well-being and illness of individuals. Strong communication can create a positive relationship between health providers and service users, leading to ease in offering care services to the users, ensuring their well-being (Cusack et al. 2016). Clear communication helps service users understand the care provided, reducing conflicts in accepting care from providers. Trust is regarded as a key factor influencing communication between service users and health providers (Gabay, 2015). Lack of trust means service users fear being neglected in care. Unethical practices and low mastery over interpersonal skills lead health providers to be mistrusted (Rushton, 2016). Proper interpersonal skills and ethical practices help health providers showcase their true behavior, influencing service users to understand that they can be trusted, ensuring the well-being of service users.

A friendly tone of voice in communication encourages service users to engage openly with health providers (Morgan et al. 2017). A friendly tone helps service users feel comfortable sharing their needs and demands without fear, positively impacting their health and well-being as health providers can meet their needs effectively (Johnson et al. 2015). Effective oral communication by health providers with service users ensures their well-being by allowing immediate feedback on care services, making necessary adjustments for better satisfaction (Richards et al. 2019).

Cultural factors significantly influence communication between health providers and service users (Marques, 2018). Different cultures have varying perceptions regarding illness, health promotion, and care approaches, impacting the well-being of service users. Health providers lacking cultural information may offer services that disrespect the culture and emotions of patients, creating conflicts and leading service users to avoid accessing services, deteriorating their health (Norouzinia et al. 2016). Respect is core to cultural competence; healthcare providers who respect the customs, beliefs, race, languages, and traditions of service users encourage honest communication of needs and demands. This helps reduce disparity and conflict, enabling health providers to offer care effectively, ensuring the well-being of service users.

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