Delivery in day(s): 5
This unit 2 essay health and social care assignment is about the case study of two teenage partners who are underage and have a habit of smoking and drinking. Jane the female is of age 16 and her partner is peter of age 17. The couple is expecting a baby in next 6 months and they both are high risk individual which got benefitted from an early intervention. Intervention was made with help of teachers, parents, community health workers and friends. The underage couple does not have a steady and high paying job and they have quit education as well. Considering their age, their circumstances and their habits it is very important that an early intervention is to be planned and executed.
Smoking is a dangerous health behavior is continuously increasing in different age groups and social strata’s of life and it is suggested by many studies done in different parts of the world that female as a group is increasingly getting addicted towards smoking. All though it is repeatedly advised that smoking is a highly dangerous activity for women and their unborn child, still many women tend to ignore this advice and carry on with smoking. Cigarette smoke contains many toxins that accumulate in the placenta of smoking pregnant women, which directly enters foetal circulation. Smoking’s ill effect on umbilical cord may cause abnormalities or paucity in achieving efficacious pregnancy and shielded birth of child. About 15-20% of low birth weight babies and 15% of miscarriages are caused by maternal smoking (Andres and Day, 2000).
Knowledge is a continuous process and there is always a gap between the real life phenomenon and knowledge base we have about the subject matter. This gap in knowledge is identified because there is not many studies available which is studying genetic predisposition of indigenous population or impact of their cultural upbringing on smoking habits of a pregnant mother. This knowledge would help in development of a targeted and effective intervention which can reduce the percentage of females smoking in pregnancy to a minimal. As it is already mentioned in the previous task that number of females who start smoking at an early age is growing at an alarming rate and government is very much concerned about this trend. There are various government resources which aims at minimizing the impact of such behaviour which includes community education, increasing awareness level among vulnerable group and also intervene them to modify their health behaviour. Many universities work with NHS on a regular basis to identify the trends and also publish reports which provide detailed analysis of the actions which can be taken in such developments. Government has made provisions for the welfare of such people who do not have the means to take care of their family and in this case unborn child.
The first and foremost problem which could come as a barrier in intervention would be the resistance from the couple itself and their lack of understanding the severity of the problem. Maternal age also makes a huge impact on health behavior of a pregnant female. It is observed that out of females who smoke during pregnancy, 45% of the women who are pregnant are under the age of 20years as compared to 19% percent of women who are above 30 years of age. In young females or teenage mothers there would be a lesser knowledge of smoking and its negative impacts in a major part of the population and it is also expected that there would be a lesser maturity level to understand the implications of their behavior on health of child. Teenage mothers might have more inclination towards aspects like friends, parties and having fun with friends which does include a component of smoking occasionally and this behavior would ultimately impact the health of newly born child (Rockville, 2004).
Enhanced stress level of couple because of their financial auditing instability and lack of employment with Peter is another possible barrier in intervention. Since they have no alternative means to support themselves and unborn child they would not be interested in indulging themselves in intervention which might take a lot of time to modify their behavior.
Pregnancy is a very stressful situation for a female where she has to make compromises with her career, her social life, her freedom and her personal life. All these compromises keeps women highly stressed during her pregnancy and more over she is also worried about the final outcome of pregnancy. Hormonal imbalance also causes an additional stress in pregnant females which creates a higher level of stressful thinking. A higher level of stress invokes the desire of smoking in a person because it gives them a temporary release as a lot of chemicals mimic the effect of a vasodilator and gabapentine which act as a muscle relaxant. Thus it can be observed in females that they would take up smoking because of increased stress level in their life (Tim, et al. 2000).
Beattie’s health promotion model was published in 1991 which states that there are four major typologies of health promotion namely health persuasion, legislative action, personal counseling and community development. He believes in a top down approach of health promotion where top end is dominated by authoritative approach while at the bottom is negotiated health promotion approach.
Each of the above mentioned typologies or strategies have a different political and governmental ideology and while selecting the right strategy for health promotion its political and social influence should be considered as well.
Here the conservative reformist perspective would come more into picture and that means it is already well established that some damage has been done and these interventions would repair the damage and protect what can be protected. Personal counseling would be the first approach of health promotion according to Beattie’s model here where both partners would be counseled and informed about the choices they are making in life and the danger it has on the pregnancy and development of child. They would also be counseled about their discontinuation of education, need of a proper employment and risk of smoking for their own health. Smoking all though is a dangerous activity in itself but it is particularly very dangerous for those unborn kids who are still in their developmental stages and there development might get hampered by the smoking. Like every health behavior which is negative or positive there are certain aspects which govern it and create an internal and external environment which can modify it (McDonald et al., 2002)
Health and social care is an integrated service which includes efforts from community health workers, physicians, nurses and midwives, psychiatrists, family counselors, social care givers, carers and teachers as well. In this case their roles and responsibilities would be as follows
In order to promote healthy lifestyle and preventing illness, it is very essential that general awareness is created as well as people are provided with required healthcare facilities. Health inequalities need to be minimized and a certain routines need to be fixed in health promotion activities to be more effective. In case of Jane and Peter Professionals like community nurses and health worker along with teachers can play an active role in health promotion by fixing an hour every week for educating and explaining significance of healthy habits? Jane and Peter are encouraged for adopting healthier habits like ceasing smoking, engage more in physical activities and eating nutritious diets for the health of mother and unborn baby by the teachers in that hour (Polit & Beck, 2007). This would largely help in malnutrition prevention and developmental defects in unborn baby. In fact, a monthly session of parents may be organized where the school nurses and teachers may emphasize on significance of immunization, safety at home, non smoking, healthy eating habits, early identification of diseases and risk factors, etc would be immensely beneficial.
Community nurses may also be routinely involved in educating them about harmful outcomes of smoking, alcohol and even give primary sex education. These nurses may have routine of doing monthly checkups of both partners that would help in early diagnosis of diseases, required treatment and prevention of further complications.
Health belief model is widely accepted framework to understand people’s health behavior and thus, is used for motivating people to adopt positive health actions to avoid negative consequences. Theories of health belief model are as follows:
Individual health behavior can be directly explained through these health belief theories. A negative health consequence is the key element of this model since to avoid that consequence, the person can be motivated to modify his health behavior and adopt healthy lifestyle.
Government is taking various steps for promoting health in society but its role is limited up to making policies, programs, strategies, etc. These have to be utilized by local agencies like schools or community social workers for benefit of public. These responsible agencies play a vital role in preventing many diseases, early recognition of symptoms, creating awareness among people and also by enhancing access to healthcare. However, their work is regularly disrupted by some unaffected agencies like commercial companies and businesses.
It may be explained using an example of lifestyle disorders that are caused by smoking habits and consuming excessive alcohol etc (Gilligan, 2003). The cases of hypertension, diabetes, cancer, asthma and obesity are regularly rising that may be largely attributed to these habits. Responsible agencies like schools, GPs and community groups are working to create awareness among students and parents to adopt preventive actions. Even government is pressurized from time to time to ban such junk products that are causing serious negative impact over country’s young population like Jane and Peter.
However, such bans or policies against alcohol, cigarettes, sold in market are always argumented and conflicted by commercial companies selling them. These businesses are not much concerned about public health rather they don’t want their business to suffer. They come up with the view that such ban would affect their employees and families which are totally depended upon them and thus, government should not put a ban (Healthy Care Programme, 2007).
Thus, for preventing these lifestyle disorders and promoting health of people, government should release the list of harmful products like cigarettes etc that need to be completely removed from access of a teenager. Moreover, these companies must be asked to put clear information about the risk over the packets so as to at least make people aware of what they are consuming. In addition, regular inspection of manufacturing units must be made to keep a check upon their ingredients, processes and actions.
Every aspect of health and wellbeing, including prevention, promotion and quality of life, can be expected to improve through proper information. Work place groups, physicians and community groups play a vital role in creating awareness about preventing diseases by adopting healthy lifestyle, appropriately using available health care facilities and by improving access to these facilities.
It is actually significant to inform people like Jane and Peter as there occurs a lot of diseases due to lack of proper information and knowledge to people. Various community groups that stay in continuous touch with public can work together with government to spread health information. GPs can impart health related information through posters and pamphlets at their clinic, through direct interaction with patients and families, and even through special health sessions. GPs can inform patients about risk factors, preventive actions and about the available medications and treatment facilities. Community groups may provide useful information to socially, economically or ethnically compromised population and thus, reduce health inequalities in society. By regularly visiting their houses, organizing seminars in their areas, by using pamphlets, posters or through directly communicating with them, their access to healthcare may be improved and many diseases can be prevented by providing useful information.
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