Delivery in day(s): 5
Diploma in Health and Social Care
Unit Number and Title
Unit 19 Contemporary Issues in HSC
This Unit 19 Contemporary issues in (HSC) assignment is aimed at throwing light on importance of imparting right and accurate health and social care related information to people and avoiding creation of misunderstandings and confusion through improper or exaggerated information. The techniques and ways of spreading health related information to public would be discussed along with analyzing and evaluating these ways. Additionally, the effect of these imparted information on attitude and behavior of people would be discussed and analyzed along with evaluating the ways people assess the reliability and validity of information they receive. In the final section, the influence of contemporary perspective of health related issues on the development of services would be included.
It is really important to keep people informed and aware about disease prevention, healthy lifestyle habits, available health services and individual rights so as to promote heath in society. They need to be made aware of issues of public concern such as standards, finance, resourcing, child abuse and other abuse in care settings, etc so that they receive and can claim for quality health services in a secure environment as per standards and policies. These essential information can be provided to people by General practitioners, through word of mouth, newspapers, TV, radio, movies, documentaries, internet, social media, books, magazines, leaflets, pamphlets, posters research papers, journals ,etc. Social workers, teachers, nurses, educators, school nurses etc also play an essential role in making health and social care related information available to public (Jones and Jones, 1999). Further there are some government and non government organizations that have the responsibility of spreading essential information to public such as World Health Organization, Centre for Disease Control, Health Protection Agency, etc.
For instance, people must know whom to contact and where to contact in case of being abused at care centers. This information would empower and safeguard them by providing support and protection. Further they must have information regarding new treatment modalities of cancer. This information can be made available through media, newspapers, journals, etc. But at several times the target audience fail to receive right information or unable to interpret the message clearly leading to confusion and misunderstandings. Thus, along with spreading information to public, it is also essential to ensure that right and appropriate information is being provided to right people (Kivits, 2006).
Health related essential information can be disseminated to public through various media like posters, pamphlets, leaflets, visual messages, newspapers, TV, radio, health websites, social media sites, etc. These sources play a major role in creating awareness in general public. With the help of tabloid newspapers like Sun, Mirror, etc., TV and internet especially health websites or social media sites, major information can be rapidly spread to mass of people. For instance, information regarding preventive measures from swine flu was rapidly disseminated through newspapers, TV and social media sites when an epidemic of the disease occurred in several parts of world. Thus these techniques of spreading knowledge are very effective but at times, this information may cause panic situations in public by exaggerating the facts and figures and promote fear in people (Scott, 2014). It may be done either to promote website or sell papers but have serious negative impact on people by making them anxious, fearful and create panic situations. Moral panic situations are created by social networking websites, newspapers, etc which increases the public fear to a particular condition like child abuse, AIDS, etc. greater than the actual objective threat. Thus, it is very essential to help people to overcome this moral panic situation by spreading actual facts, figures and information though alternate sources, creating messages directed to public health, educating them through campaigns, seminars with the help of responsible government agencies, social organizations and NGOs (Bates, 2000).
Spreading health related information and knowledge is essential but more important is the way of presentation and dissemination to public. It can exert a major impact on the attitude, behavior and thoughts of people and therefore the significant information must be spread using appropriate source and appropriate manner according to preference and requirements of different audience. The needs and preferred format changes with demographics like age, gender, education, class, etc. For instance, old age people would prefer radios, TV, newspapers, pamphlets, etc. while to target young people; social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter must be used. For providing information to parents; leaflets, pamphlets, posters must be used on places like early childcare centers, schools, at pediatricians’ clinic, etc and to target females, information may be given in magazines, TV or through help of gynecologists or midwives (Reeves, et al, 2011).
Another component is style of presenting information including the colors, pictures, size and font and use of English. For children, information should be styled with bright colors, animated pictures or through cartoon videos having sounds and visual effects. It would have more impact over their thoughts and attitudes. While, to target elderly adults, the size and font of the content must be large enough to be read clearly and must be in bold letters. Moreover, the information must always be provided in simple English to be easily interpreted by everyone. Finally, if the content is too lengthy or detailed, the vital points may be missed and people may misinterpret and get confused. So, it is important to deliver focused information necessary for public to be given in brief for exerting maximum positive impact on their attitude and behavior (Carpenter, 2010).
There are several ways and sources of media that are readily used to spread health and social care related information to general public. Local and national newspapers, magazines, TV channels, advertisements, short films, documentaries, radio talk shows, health websites, social networking sites are the most commonly used media sources that majorly influence the attitude and behavior of people (McClimens, et al. 2012). These sources majorly shape the opinion of people and have impact on their behavior and attitude.
Media and the information imparted play an essential role in shaping public opinion. They can either positively modify the attitude and behavior of people towards a condition by educating them, creating awareness, helping them to prevent any disease condition by adopting healthy lifestyle practices, etc. On the other hand, media can also negatively impact peoples’ behavior and attitudes and create a negative public opinion about some health issue. It can lead to moral panic, stereotyping, scapegoating or sensationalize an issue. It can change the way people perceive particular condition or habit. For instance, by showing pictures of patients with end stage oral cancers and describing their debilitating stage, fear can be generated against habits like smoking. Exaggeration of facts and figures may cause moral panic in society which is a feeling of fear in people related to a health related or other issue considering it as a threat to society’s well being.
Thus, it can be said that media have major impact over people that cannot be easily defined. Rather it is clear that media exerts a mixed impact over people and the way people interact with the mass media, its shape changes accordingly. Moreover, there are few vulnerable people in society that can be very easily attacked by information and mass media such as females, children and elderly adults. It is relatively easy to modify their view, perception, and attitude than other groups of people. Media people are very well aware of all these facts and thus, they modify their advertisements and promotional activities in such a way to appeal maximum number of people by directly hitting people’s though process. Even newspapers, TVs and magazines spice up their content and information to increase the sales of the paper, magazine or increase TRP. Therefore, people must also need to be made aware of these tactics and must only believe in reliable and valid information.
It has been seen in above sections that media does not always contain educative and informative content rather it may also lead to moral panic or stereotyping in society , making it really essential for people to assess the liability principle and validity of the information before believing on it. Reliability refers to how responsible, dependable and trustworthy an information or media source is while more the information is logically or factually correct, more valid it is considered.
There are several cases when media can impart inaccurate, non reliable or invalid information. For example, health and social care reports published under Government organizations or pressure groups may want them to publish information depicting government praiseful activities. Thus, the owners of media companies have major impact on the reliability and validity of information. In addition the political agendas such as presented by liberals, socialists, nationalists, etc exert their impact over the information (Alterman ,2003). Moreover, the religious agendas like Islamic, Christian, Buddhist etc also change the way information is disseminated. Thus, the owner of media source, its ideology, political perspectives and the pressure of other organization on media, together impact the content and dissemination of information to public (Mbogo & McGill, 2016). Further, it also depends on individual perception or point of view of looking at things and understanding them. Thus, information is affected by perspective of writers and editors along with photographer as well. By considering all these factors together, it can be said that people must try to see an issue or information from several perspectives, effectively judge it by reading it from differ media and then only believe on it.
Local issues are responsible of many national and international issues. National level attitude is influenced by local attitudes towards different issues and perspectives of health and social care. There is positive correlation between national attitude and local attitude. The attitudes of people living in different areas is generally influenced by various factors such as cultural, social, etc. for example, People living mostly in remote areas do not want any kind of change in health and social care services. According to survey done by National Health Service (NHS) of UK, people have different both positive and negative attitudes towards health and social care services. As UK is divided into several regions therefore all social care units do not provide quality services so the attitude of people is different and is developed on the basis of services they receive (NHS, 2014).
Health and social care services is a sensitive sector as it is related to the life of the people. There are various problems faced by people regarding their health. Local government has developed various strategies to tackle overweight and obesity. Cancer, heart disease and diabetes are majorly caused due to excess weight. In UK overweight and obesity represent probably the most widespread threat to health and wellbeing. Therefore to minimize problem of obesity people should do exercise on daily basis. In order to evaluate obesity level in different regions various surveys have been conducted. Health promotion programs and campaigns plays vital role in creating among local people about negative effects of obesity. To overcome problem of obesity it is important that whole of society should work together towards a solution (Gulliford & Morgan, 2013). When disease start to spread the national productivity has also affected and it gradually decreases.
In some issues regarding health and social care public sometimes overact. Public attitude and behaviours should be evaluated and the validity of their action would have to be measured in case of specific issues such as obesity. NHS has provided effective services to people and also pay attention to their issues regarding health and social care services. There are various health problems but obesity is considered to be worldwide epidemic problem. In both developing and developed countries obesity has been on the rise among children and adolescents. In UK there are number of groups including government, health and social care professionals worked together to create awareness among people and also various health related programs and campaigns have been organized to encourage people towards healthy eating. In order to develop public attitude towards health and social care issues media plays a vital role. For example, the government of UK has introduced sugar tax on soft drinks industry to reduce health problems (Glasby, 2012).
In order to educate people about health, healthcare professionals and government need to develop strategies for general public and should notice public attitude and behaviours regularly towards health issues. Public attitudes and behaviours are developed upon the services they use for health and social care. Health problems such as obesity have been increasing at rapid rate in society. In UK obese and overweight individuals are more likely to found in urban settings. In order to tackle obesity people should give importance to exercise and should take balanced diet. People need to change their lifestyle and should engage in physical activity and healthy eating. Health promotion programs and campaigns organized by government and healthcare professionals have effectively contributed to overcome obesity. The government of UK has introduced anti-smoking campaign to aware people about negative effects. National Health Service (NHS) has conducted surveys regularly to get idea about level of obesity in the country (NHS, 2014).
Education regarding health and social care services is very necessary to overcome health related problems. Various consequences have been developed if people do not change their thinking about health and social issues. Media has played significant role in reflecting issues of health and social care. For example, standard of the health care services for elderly people is not good and the poor services received by senior citizens would be considered as one of the most contemporary issues in health and social care. In order to change behaviour and attitude of people towards certain issues information released to public regarding health and social care has helped a lot. Media reports on health inequalities will also influence opinions of people. For example People staying in rural areas do not have proper health and social care facility due to this their health related issues would not be solved easily. People in rural areas generally do not believe in benefits of health and social care units and follow traditional methods to cure disease (McClimens, et. al., 2012).
Low education level about health and social care is the main consequence of contemporary thinking. People nowadays are busy in their jobs and they give proper attention to health and this leads to increased demand for social care services. The government and healthcare professionals have played vital role in developing standards of health and social care services. Wide range of media activities have increased awareness of general public and these activities also encourage them to adopt good behaviours to maintain healthy living. People need to develop good ideas and thoughts in relation to health behaviour. People should replace contemporary thinking by modern thoughts (Reeves, et. al., 2011).
It is concluded that effective health and social care services are very important for general public in order to develop a healthy nation. Government, media and healthcare professionals have played significant role in spreading information regarding health and social care to general public. This report also demonstrates that attitude and behaviour of people towards health and social care issues is influenced by media. The local health and social care issues can be reduced only through education of people and in UK media have significantly worked to reduce health and social care issues. Thus attitudes of local people have also contributed to major global issues regarding health and social care (Glasby, 2012).
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