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Power Dynamics and Empowerment in Health Promotion through the Behavioural Change Approach - Essay Example

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Power dynamics and empowerment in health promotion through the behavioural change approach Introduction The introduction of health promotion has been defined, first, by the way in which the discussion and language used in regard to health has changed. As the discourse has changed, the shift in responsibility has fallen on the individual so that self-health care has become a part of understanding the nature of health and how it is a daily effort, rather than an effort that is focused on reactions and the help of health care professions…
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Power Dynamics and Empowerment in Health Promotion through the Behavioural Change Approach

Download file to see previous pages... Empowering the individual towards better health care is about the language that is used to discuss health and well-being. According to Kerr (2000), the language that was used to discuss health care was first kept under the purview of the health care professional, a sort of territorial discourse that left a gap between the professional and the patient. During the late 1980s, the discourse shifted and began to emphasize the responsibility of the patient for caring for and monitoring their own health. Kerr (2000) discusses the duality of the intentions to both allow self-determination and to seek improvement of health care. According to Jamison (2001, p. 15), “Members of the public are gradually being viewed as “producers” of health care rather than simply “consumers” of health care”. The shift that Kerr (2000) referred to is in the way in which the patient has become involved in his or her own health administration. The language of how health care is considered has shifted from the idea that when a tragedy hits an individual, it is put into the hands of health care professionals; to an understanding that health care is a daily, on-going process in which the individual becomes centrally involved in the process of health. Health care was once a reactionary event after something within the body required attention. The new dialogue is about conscious changes towards health-care behaviours. One of the criticisms that have been made on this new approach is that the ideology of health promotion has shifted the concept of illness into a reflection of character. Being ill can now be seen as a consequence of poor self awareness and attention to the body. Risk, as it relates to health behaviours, is not equated with sin, thus changing the way in which health is considered on a social level. Going to a health professional becomes like an act of confession, the individual admitting culpability in their own ill health, thus having to take social responsibility for the consequences of those risky behaviours. This becomes part of a ‘risk discourse’ which can ultimately make people reluctant to seek out help when it is needed ((Marks, Evans, Willig, Woodall, and Sykes 2006) Health Promotion and Awareness Through efforts to change public awareness and the way in which health care is considered within the framework of culture, the psychology of the community has been an area of interest. Community psychology concerns broad patterns of thought and behaviour that affects the overall public good about a social issue. According to Diller (2011), change that has been necessary towards creating an empowered public where health care is concerned has been a process that has been achieved through community psychology. Those using methods of community psychology do so in order to provide context for understanding issues as they affect a broader population. Rather than creating individual blame and associating disenfranchisement of the individual to the issue, problems are addressed through applications of means of understanding how a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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