Unit 29 Health Promotion

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This unit aims to provide learners with an understanding of the influences on health in a modern society and also the factors which influence national and regional strategies to promote health.

Unit abstract

Practitioners who work in health and social care require an understanding of the influences on the health of the individuals with whom they work. This unit will provide learners with the knowledge and understanding of pertinent issues and also factors which prevent some individuals from accessing health support. Learners will investigate a range of influences on health and also reasons for the varied success of health promotion campaigns and strategies. Reference is made to the role of national and regional strategies and professionals. Theories of health behaviour are examined and linked with government strategies to improve the health of individuals in society. Potential conflicts between local industry and health promotion are considered, for example anti-smoking campaigns and parents employed within the tobacco industry. Learners are invited to plan a health promotion campaign for a specific group in society, whichcould be conducted within their own workplace in order to provide a context for the unit.

Learning outcomes

1  Understand the socio-economic influences on health

  • Influences: social eg disposable income, unemployment, lifestyle choices, environment,access to healthcare facilities, access to information, citizenship status, discrimination
  • Sources of information: reports and enquiries eg Black Report DHSS 1980, Acheson Report ‘Independent Inquiry in ‘Inequalities in Health’ 1998, Health and Lifestyle Surveys (HALS),Health Survey for England (HSFE), census data.

2  Understand models of health promotion

  • Definitions: models eg medical, social; behavioural change, health educational, differences between health promotion and health education
  • Government strategies: campaigns eg anti-smoking campaigns, Healthy Eating, Dare campaign; vaccination programmes, safety in the home, sun protection, Sure Start, Every Child Matters, government health promotion targets
  • National and regional health promotion: structures eg National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), role of Primary Care Trusts, partnerships between local authorities and strategic health authorities; role of voluntary groups eg Epilepsy Action and Asthma UK
  • Role of professionals: health visitors and others eg school nurses; school dental checks liaison with parents and carers
  • Routines within the settings: personal hygiene; healthy eating; resting; exercise.

3  Understand factors which influence health promotion

  • Factors: health beliefs, cultural and religious practices; previous experience of health promotion; education and understanding; potential conflicts with industry eg tobacco, alcohol; access to information; relevance of information to target group
  • Theories of health behaviour: behaviours eg Health Belief Model (Becker 1974), Theory of Reasoned Action (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1980), Health Action Model (Tones, 1990), Stages ofChange Model (Prochaska and DiClemente, 1984).

4  Be able to plan a health promotion campaign

  • Purpose: aim eg improve the health of children, increase concentration, encourage healthy living in families, extend life expectancy
  • Strategies: assessing health needs, incorporation into routines, involving parents and carers; cultural eg awareness of religious and cultural practices, festivals and special days; timing, levels of understanding; involvement of other professionals eg community paediatric nurse, dietician, links with national campaigns
  • Legislation and guidelines: relevant sections from eg Health and Safety at Work Act, Keeping Children and Families Safe Act 2003, Disability Discrimination Act 2005
  • Evaluation: framework for evaluation (efficiency, effectiveness, economy); measured outcomes, Specific, Measurable, Accessible, Relevant, Timely (SMART) targets, goals and objectives.


  • Kim, K.H. & Lee, M. 2014, "Autophagy--a key player in cellular and body metabolism", Nature reviews. Endocrinology, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 322-337.
  • Knowles, C.H., Veress, B., Kapur, R.P., Wedel, T., Farrugia, G., Vanderwinden, J.?., Geboes, K., Smith, V.V., Martin, J.E., Lindberg, G., Milla, P.J. & De Giorgio, R. 2011, "Quantitation of cellular components of the enteric nervous system in the normal human gastrointestinal tract – report on behalf of the Gastro 2009 International Working Group",Neurogastroenterology & Motility, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 115-124.

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