Home Solutions Health promotion planning: an educational and ecological approach
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Low income African Americans attitudes towards seeking medical health attention
The vision Healthy People for 2020 is an initiative by America’s health department which aims at improving the general health standards of the Americans. This initiative also aims at promoting new public health direction as well as providing a roadmap to attaining the highlighted health goals. Elimination of health disparities based on social class and ethnic background is another key agenda (Koh, 2010). Schnittker, Pescosolido & Croghan (2005) indicates that disparity based on race and ethnicity in medical treatment reflects a bias on the physicians. In America, health disparity between African American and the Hispanic American is wide and noticeable. The disparities in health care mostly lies on factors such as the social economic status of the population, ethnic groups and specific types of ailments. The Healthy People for 2020 seek to eliminate such disparities through provision of equitable health care.
According to Schnittker, Pescosolido & Croghan (2005), African Americans perception of the health care do not contribute much to this disparity. Although the disparity may be arising from negative attitudes of African American from seeking medical care, research indicate that the whites receive better health care than their black counterparts. However, some researchers affirm that African Americans are not confident in seeking medical care due to their beliefs and cultures. The researchers suggest that African Americans have lower trust on physicians than the Hispanics. The American health system is however seeking to eliminate health care disparities that may be based bias on race and ethnicity by the physicians.
It has been observed that low income earners in America deliberately avoid seeking medical attention from ambulatory care units. Statistics indicate that population with low social-economic status are twice more likely to seek emergency medical care than high social-economic population. Additionally, it has been established that low income earners have a high likelihood of being admitted and hospitalized than high income earners (Kangovi et al, 2013). Based on the research carried out by Kangovi et al (2013), the population comprising people of low social-economic status argued that ambulatory health care is much more expensive and would prefer hospital care services. There is a clear health gap between the low social-economic minorities with the rest population that is social economically stable. Most people from low income populations are unaware of the benefits accrued from regularly seeking medical care from primary care health practitioners. It is observed that most of them seek medical attention for acute ailments handled in emergency rooms. Low income populations are misinformed on the quality of care between the two as well as the importance of visiting primary care physicians.
According to Pagán & Pauly (2005), use of alternative health care other than the conventional medical attention is on the rise in America. People continuous search for alternative health care has risen when the health department seems to have attained the required level of efficiency in health care services provision. Factors driving such moves are inclusive of escalation of cost in seeking conventional medical attention, people’s dissatisfaction with the conventional health care services and diminishing trust of conventional healthcare system among the people. Low income earners in America suffering from chronic illness opt for alternative care. This increases the risk of motility where the complementary care addressed is not administered properly. Another reason for positive inclination to use of alternative health care is that low income earners especially adults find it consistent with their beliefs and ideologies. Failure of people to seek medication from the conventional health care is accelerating the health disparities in America hence making it hard for Healthy People for 2020 to achieve its objectives.
Study shows that Mexicans in American constantly seek medical care from Mexican boundary other than accessing the same from the US health system. Both low income and high income Mexican immigrants tend to seek medical care from their homeland despite of a stable medical care system in their host country. Cost of health care and lack of health insurance cover has been established as the key driving force of the medical return trend among the Mexicans living in America. Other factors such as convenience have also been established especially among the Latino immigrants living close the border of Mexico. The author indicates that factors such as personalized doctor attention and equal treatment among patients also motivate these medical returns. Low Mexican income earners find border clinics more cost effective than the American healthcare system (Horton & Cole, 2011).
The style of medical care given by practitioners to their patients has got a great correlation to the health outcome and satisfaction levels of the patient. Patients have been observed to respond differently to distinct healthcare styles offered by practitioners. Practitioners using the family practice health care approach and ones on internal medicine practice use different styles. Family care practitioners utilize the style of emphasizing more on the health behavior of their patients. On the other hand, internal medical physicians use a more technical approach in handling health problems of their patients. Study shows that family practice health practitioner system is more appreciated by the people than the internal healthcare physicians due to favorable styles used (Bertakis et al, 1998).
According to Bertakis et al (1998), the technical approach used by the internal physicians is not appreciated by many patients. It is observed as lengthy and many patients are not pleased with the level of care as well as the outcome. The technical style of internal healthcare system involves collecting historical information on the health patterns of the patient, physical examination of the patient, structuring of treatment, giving the possible results of treatment and evaluating feedback. On the other hand, more social approach is used by family care practitioners. This approach involves monitoring health performance of the patient and counseling. It is observed that difference in practicing styles is derived from different education background of the practitioners.
According to Hibbard & Greene (2013), patient activation is the empowerment of patients to enhance their ability in making their own health care decisions independently. Through patient activation, the patients are made aware of their role in their own health matters and are equipped with necessary knowledge, expertise and self-belief in running their health and care issues. Research indicates that better health outcomes are attained by patients who undergo the patient activation process. People who undergo successful patient activation process are more sensitive to matters relating to their health than those who have not gone through the process. Sensitivity of patients on their health and care issues is important as they are able to avoid circumstances that could lead to escalation of their health problems. Patients also tend to get satisfied with the health care process and outcomes since they are more informed in their health situation.
Some patients however tend to be averse to the patient activation process. This is because of their cultural beliefs and social practices. Negative belief and ideologies on the health care influences reluctance of some people engagement in patient health activation process. Not everyone is pro-health care system as some people are still deeply accustomed to their cultural norms. Informed interventions such as prior education on the importance of the activation process should be put into consideration (Hibbard & Greene, 2013).
Patients should be more engaged in managing their health condition in order to reduce the adverse health effects on themselves. This would also facilitate prevention of potential ailments and early diagnosis of life threatening diseases. Health promotion programs is one of the most effective approach of sensitizing people on managing their health issues as well as equipping them with the most suitable knowledge on the same. Health promotion programs involve equipping the people with disease prevention measures. People are taught on matters relating to observing hygiene, detecting strange health changes early enough, and attending regular health screening to detect any developing health problem (Green & Kreuter, 1999).
Health education is presumed to be the backbone of a healthy nation. People should be equipped with the necessary health information to enable them control their own health issues before seeking attention of a health practitioner. The PRECEED-PROCEED model should be use to facilitate educating patients on their health issues and how they can control escalation of their health problems (Green & Kreuter, 1999). Factors such as activation process should be enhanced as they make the patient aware of his or her own health requirements. The activation process ensures that people acknowledge their health requirements and put them in control of their own health decisions (Hibbard & Greene, 2013).
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