A multitude of different social, economic and cultural factors determine a person’s health. This means that people living in the same community, or people of the same age, can have vastly different chances of good health.
Instinctively you might think that access to health services is the biggest factor in determining health. However, many other things significantly affect our likelihood of good health. It can also be easy to blame individuals for their poor health, or congratulate others for good health, yet in reality many of the determinants of health are out of our own personal control. Underlying these broad factors is a much deeper level of structural causes, which are more difficult to change.
John is 30 years old and has a history of asthma, diabetes, is a smoker and has been overweight for most of his adult life. He lives with his wife and 3 children on a council estate housing which is overcrowded. Often he is unable to pay for the electrical bill and provide food for his family. His wife and children are overweight and they suffer from asthma. John is due to go back to his country as his visa to remain in this country will expire soon. He recently went to the GP after not visiting the GP for 2 years about a minor complaint, and as a matter of course his blood pressure was taken. Much to his surprise, it was above what was considered acceptable. His doctor started him on medication because his high blood pressure was high enough to warrant immediate action.
His blood pressure dropped, but unfortunately he still did not change his lifestyle and did not take his medication as scheduled. John is unemployed for the past 2 years and receives unemployment benefits so he does not have very much disposable income. John subsequently became depressed and lacks energy. He returned to his GP, who sent him to a Health and Wellbeing Clinic to check his blood pressure and to seek advice from health professionals who would give him advice on how to better control his blood pressure, diabetes and overweight. At the clinic he was given advice on how to change his lifestyle, which included reducing salt in his diet. However, due to cultural factors, socioeconomic factors, he struggled to eat proper meals and he did not follow any of the advice given and his blood pressure and diabetes remained a cause for concern.
A high blood pressure awareness campaign targeting Caribbean, West African and White middle-aged men living in his area tried to raise awareness to prompt positive behaviour change. However, in John’s community according to the Public Health England website, it showed even after the high blood pressure awareness campaign the level of high blood pressure in these group of men remained the same.
Task 1: LO1 Understand the socioeconomic influences on health
(up to 750 recommended words)
What you must do
Using the case study as a backdrop to your answers, create an information pack that addresses the following:
1.1 Explain the effects of socio-economic influences on health. [P1.1]
Influence: social eg disposable income, unemployment, lifestyle choice, environment, access to health care facilities, access to information, citizenship status, discrimination
MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH CASE STUDY
1.2 Asses the relevance of government resources in reporting on inequalities in health in relation to the case study. [P1.2, M2]
PLEASE ASSESS AND MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH CASE STUDY
source of information: Reports and enquiries eg BLACK REPORTS DHSS 1980, ACHESON REPORT, independent inquiry in inequalities in health ‘ 1998, health and lifestyle surveys (HALS), Health survery for England (HSFE), census data,
how effective was the report.
1.3 Discuss the reason for barriers to accessing health care. [P1.3]
Barriers: Insurance/ Financial Resources, ignorance/ Distrust of western medical, poor doctors, patients communication, lack of bilingual/ bicultural staff, etc
To achieve M2, complex problems using Acheson Report, Black report, Census data and other reports were synthesised and processed when assessing the relevance of those resources in reporting inequalities in health.