Subject Code and Title PUBH6000: Social, Behavioural and Cultural Factors in Public Health
Assessment Assessment 1: Report - Social Determinants of Health
Length 1,500 words
Learning Outcomes This assessment addresses the following learning outcomes: 1. Analyse the impact of social, environmental and behavioural factors on the health of different populations 2. Analyse population health outcomes and the major social, economic, political and cultural forces that contribute to health inequalities
Tobacco consumption in any form, lack of physical activity, a diet high in fats and sugars, hypertension, obesity and diabetes are well-known behavioural risk factors for heart disease. Populations with lower socioeconomic status are more likely to have increased behavioural risk factors for heart disease, including smoking and lack of physical activity (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2010). Although behavioural risk factors might be evident causes of diseases, public health professionals also consider social and environmental factors that contribute to the social gradient of health.
Choose a population group in Australia (e.g. men/women, low socioeconomic status, rural/remote, people with disabilities/mental illness). In 1500 words, address the following: Describe the burden of heart disease within your chosen population. Please describe burden of disease in terms of any two of following: incidence, prevalence, mortality, morbidity, survival or quality of life. Discuss how the social determinants of health can explain the burden of heart disease within your chosen population. Propose a public health intervention to prevent heart disease in your chosen population that addresses at least one social determinant of health (e.g. working conditions/ unemployment, social support, transport, housing conditions, education, access to healthcare). Explain what other sector/s could be involved aside from the health sector (e.g education, local government, transport, housing) in your public health intervention.
Please note that you need to cite at least 10-12 scholarly sources of literature in your assessment. Scholarly sources of literature include peer reviewed journal articles, edited conference paper collections and book chapters. Ensure your report is written in a clear manner, including spelling, grammar, structure, tone, and accurate referencing in accordance with the latest APA guidelines (APA 6th).
Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the social determinants of health (30%)
Shows ability to interpret and analyse relevant information and literature on the social determinants of health (30%)
Demonstrates ability to apply knowledge and understanding of the social determinants of health to an intervention to address an existing public health problem (30%)
General Assessment Criteria (10%)
o Provides a lucid introduction
o Shows a sophisticated understanding of the key issues
o Demonstrates a capacity to explain and apply relevant concepts o Shows evidence of reading beyond the required readings
o Justifies any conclusions reached with well-formed arguments and not merely assertions
o Provides a conclusion or summary
o Correctly uses academic writing, presentation and grammar:
Complies with academic standards of legibility, in text citations and bibliographical details
Writes clearly, with accurate spelling and grammar as well as proper sentence and paragraph construction
Uses appropriate APA style for citing and referencing research
Social determinants of health
Many researches have been conducted that has focused on the concept of cardiovascular diseases and its relation to old age and socioeconomic status of the people. It has been seen that there is an increase in the chance of selected diseases like cancers, respiratory illness, injuries, heart attacks, and even diabetes for the people who are socially deprived. Cardiovascular diseases or coronary heart diseases have been seen to be preventable (Lazzarino et al., 2013). There is an increase in the death rate due to coronary heart diseases in Southern Australia, mostly among the low socioeconomic people. In western countries like Australia, there is a good relationship between socio-economic status, the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and premature mortality.
There are several prima facie reasons that are leading to the anticipation that SES can have a direct relationship with those who belong to the low socio-economic culture. Relatively, they are having and higher risk of premature mortality attributable to an association connecting SES and nutrition, CVD, and cancer mortality, even amid heterogeneity, and effect and sizes of the locality. This study will focus on understanding the causes of health-related problems among the people of low socioeconomic conditions (Berndt et al., 2013). The patterns among this population will be learnt so that an explanation of the social determinants of health can be derived. In addition, a public health intervention will be provided so that physical activity can be increased among the people of this group and the concept of social gradient of health will be discussed in relation to encouraging the sector for increasing physical activity and proper diet (Berndt et al., 2013).
2. Brief background
Several types of research have been conducted in Australia and Asia where the general population of South Australia has been focused. There were about 303036 respondents, which is almost 70% of the people from Australia (Benderly et al., 2013). It has been seen that there is a prospective cohort study design, where there has been an accumulation of 5,000 person-years to follow up.
According to the specific sex, date of birth age of blood pressure at baseline, this research has been completed. It has been seen that nearly 2 billion people all over the world have been affected due to CVD and more than 11000 deaths have occurred in South Australia only in the last year only (Benderly et al., 2013). This has been because of cardiovascular diseases. More than 4313 are dead from cancer only. According to the World Health Organisation, people can avoid heart diseases by proper physical activity and diet (Breathett, 2018). They can avoid the risk factors by eradicating the use of tobacco, having a daily balanced and healthy diet and by increasing physical activity, which is otherwise known as PA. In Australia, there is a lack of physical activity among the people of the low socioeconomic status especially, the aboriginal community and these people are even deprived of proper daily food, daily work, and they have to exist in unhygienic living conditions (Breathett, 2018).
3. The burden of health disease on the group
Another research has been conducted among 25,000 patients out of which more than 12500 patients belonged to the aboriginal communities, and therefore it can evidently be said that there is a huge rate of cardiovascular diseases among low socioeconomic people in Australia. The mean age and the follow-up were around 39.1 and 6.0 years and almost 926 people deceased due to fatal cardiovascular diseases and more than 1500 individuals are affected by fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular diseases or chronic cancer (Pushkarev et al., 2018).
A comparison has also been made where single people and married people had been taken into consideration and it had been seen that married people were having a low risk of death by cardiovascular diseases or Diabetes-related health. People of these low socioeconomic areas have been facing problems with fatal and nonfatal CVD and there has been an increased rate of heart diseases. Existence of stroke, the risk of death, diabetes-related health, and cancer are most common. As these people are not having a proper diet, they are having problems with nutrition and even their unhygienic staying conditions are affecting the way they eat and stay. Most of the aboriginal communities have been deprived of good jobs, which are increasing frustration and depression among people of this area (Squire, 2018). This is increasing the risk of diseases like cancer and diabetes among these people and a lack of proper diet is increasing the risk of heart diseases especially stroke and malnutrition. Several incidences of increased heart diseases have been seen in this community. More than 1000 people were affected during the tsunami and this has been because of the increased pressure in their lives and the lack of proper hygiene and food in their living areas.
4. Social determinants of health and interventions
According to the World Health Organization, several social determinants of health directly affect the life of the low socioeconomic people and increase the rate of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases among these people. Some of those social determinants of health include unemployment, unhygienic condition, work stress, family stress, lack of social support, lack of proper food and transport, increased addiction of drugs and tobacco, exclusion from the society, lack of physical work, social and early life conditions and many others (Ore, 2015). Several organizations like the World Health Organization and the UNICEF are working together to make changes in the structure at all levels of the government as well as in the policies used by the local government, so that these problems can be eradicated totally, and the health conditions of the people in low socioeconomic conditions can be enhanced. These two organizations are also conducting educational sessions with the people of this group so that both the public and the government societies are aware of the conditions and the problems can be looked after (Pushkarev et al., 2018). It is also done so that different Public and Private Health organizations in the nearby areas can also take care of the determinants that affecting the health of the low socioeconomic cultured people and address the problems properly.
5. Patterns of health issues
There is an increased risk among the older adults in comparison to the younger ones however; the rates of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases among the younger ones are also increasing because of the change in their health or lifestyle factors. Some of the determinants that are increasing this kind of problems include addiction of cigarettes and drugs, increased alcohol consumption, gain in weight and lack of exercise (Malinauskiene & Azaraviciene, 2011). In comparison to the younger ones, the older people of the group have a higher rate of smoking. There are differences in the level of nutrition as well, and this is increasing problems due to unhealthy eating behaviors and lack of protein and fibers in the diet. The people belonging to this group also have a lack of proper physical exercise or activity, which is much more common among the younger generations of the group.
This is one of the major factors for increased obesity rate among these people as well as diseases like cholesterol, increased level of triglycerides, and diabetics. In research conducted among the aborigines, it has been seen that 33% of the respondents are having problems with higher blood sugar, blood pressure, and minor traces of cancer. There are also a large number of immigrants in the country and they are living with low socioeconomic people like aborigines (Dickens, Vaughan-Dickson, & Piano, 2018). Factors related to the early life of the people are also having effect on the health of the people, especially the immigrants that came during the colonization period and tried to establish themselves in cities of Australia. These people had to flee from their home country because of the low resources and lack of work, however, this has not helped them a lot, and they have to stay away from their own relatives that still live in their home country. This kind of factors is also increasing problems like stress, frustration, and depression among these people.
Stress and depression is also a major determinant, this is also setting up several diseases like chronic heart diseases, and mental disabilities and these are damaging the physic and mind of the people on a long-term basis. Factors include their early life, their modern life, lack of jobs and facilities, lack of education and income, and increased rate of mortality due to alcohol and tobacco use (Dickens, Vaughan-Dickson, & Piano, 2018). Some of the problems related to cardiovascular diseases or coronary heart diseases are sometimes undertreated or under diagnosed. Cardiac attacks can be prevented through Proactive involvement of the people associated as well as of the local Healthcare organizations. This can be done through several interventions on epidemiological approaches including a proper screening of the health be good doctors and by offering free medications to the people affected.
6. Public intervention
People belonging to this group are generally facing problems with financial resources. this is why there is an availability of free medical checkup for the people after the normal opening hours and the doctors of the areas will have to work together to increase awareness among the people and focus on eradicating this kind of diseases from the public. According to me, a local campaign in the affected areas can be done so that the people can be provided with free health checkups and free medications. Several health organizations and local non-governmental organizations have to conduct heart screening for the people of the low socioeconomic areas, free of cost, and local pharmacies have to give out free medications to the affected (Ore, 2015). There has been an increased geographical widespread of the supermarkets and the pharmacy stores, even in areas far from the cities and almost every kind of medications are available in those places. Government hospitals and Healthcare centers are being created so that people of the low social economic areas can get a proper check up at low costs. Online medicine deliveries have also been started so that these people can also access proper medications at the time of need. Several healthcare campaigns have been organized by the local government and the non-governmental organizations.
The local pharmacists had been given the task of receiving blood, testing blood pressure and the level of triglycerides and cholesterol in the body of the patients. Funding has been organized by the government and many private and public sector organizations, so that heart health screening can be done properly and the people can be treated and diagnosed so that they do not have to spend a lot of money on hospitalizations and acute treatment as it should be (Dickens, Vaughan-Dickson, & Piano, 2018). Many dietitians will also provide the people with proper diet and the way in which they can increase physical activity and maintain their health. Public health policies will be provided by the government so that in case of urgent health issues, the people of the low socio-economic status can afford hospitalization charges without a problem.
From the above study, it is clear that heart diseases are prevailing in Australia and is one of the major problems among the low socioeconomic status people in Australia. This is mostly seen among the aborigines and the Torres Strait Islanders. The study has focused on the social determinants that affect the health of the low socioeconomic people and the way in which this can be eradicated or brought down. In addition, the pattern of the society has also been shown in detail along with the reasons for which there is a presence of cardiovascular diseases and coronary diseases in society. The Healthcare campaigns and the local government will have to focus on bringing collaborative healthcare facilities for the local people and funding has to be done from both private and public enterprises. Discrimination and social exclusion have to be brought to an end so that these people can live properly and job opportunities have to be created so that the level of stress and depression reduces and the level of addiction goes away.