Health and Wellbeing - Essay Example

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Recent years, health and social care professionals underline the increasing role of promotion of healthy and active lifestyle in medical services and social care. Health promotion has established itself as a practice distinct from systems of health care based upon the bio-medical paradigm…
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Download file to see previous pages The main problem is that the impact of stress on performance and lifestyle is perhaps greater now than at any time in history. Modern society lives in an increasingly complex, high-technology world in which the potential for catastrophic error has greatly increased. Knowledge of stresses-related issues plays a crucial role in medial practice, and influences healthcare programs and methods, quality of the decisions made by health and social care professionals. Stress is defined as "relationship between the person and the environment that is appraised by the person as taxing ... and endangering his or her well-being" (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, p. 19 cited Fletcher et al 2006, p. 92). For healthcare professionals, it is difficult enough to make decisions in operational settings where the stakes are high and data are ambiguous. Whether the stressors are time constraints, noise, workload, or threat, they can play havoc with the clear thinking needed in these settings. In life of patients, they can degrade the quality of judgments, prevent the use of rational decision strategies, and severely compromise performance; at least, that is a popular appraisal of stressors. Decision makers are adaptive in their reactions to stressors. The decision strategies used in the presence of stressors may be simpler, but they are rational and make powerful use of experience.
Health and social care professionals should understand internal and external factors that influence the individual and his emotional and psychological reaction to these factors. Stress reactions are controlled by self-regulative processing constructs, including the stable knowledge structures that support self-beliefs and motivations, processing routines for self-monitoring and self-evaluation, 'metacognitive beliefs' about the utility of emotion-focused coping, and coping skills (Fletcher et al 2006). Self-regulation is organized at three levels: a lower, automatic level that generates intrusive thoughts, an executive level that regulates coping, and schema-like self-knowledge in long-term memory. Knowledge gives freedom and guarantees complete control over the programs and methods, ways of treatment and improvements in healthcare plans. A focus on a single health behavior does not adequately represent the complexity of behavioral effects on health (Cribb and Duncan 2002). Strategies such as decision analysis using subjective expected utility judgments and multiattribute utility analyses are best suited for cases in which there is less time pressure, more carefully collected data, multiple stakeholders, or generally lower levels of experience. The strategies are termed compensatory strategies, because they are designed to compensate for a small weakness on one or two attributes or evaluation dimensions if an option shows major strengths on other evaluation dimensions (Gandee et al 1998).
For health and social care professionals, there are a variety of sources of information that can be used to derive a model of human performance under stress: accident analysis, incident analysis, operator protocols and lifestyle (Fletcher et al 2006). Transactional stress processes may generate both direct and indirect effects on performance, mediated by coping and self-regulative processes. Direct effects follow from task-related coping efforts, such as voluntary decisions to adopt a risky speed-accuracy trade-off, to prioritize one of two ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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