Health Promotion Reflective Essay Sample

Health Promotion Reflection and Rationale for the creation of a Poster


According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition of health refers to not only the absence of disease but complete social, mental, and physical well-being (WHO, 2021). "Health is created and lived by people within the settings of their everyday life; where they learn, work, play and love" (WHO, 1986, pp.3). From a medical perspective, illness refers to the feeling of and health which is personal and innate to the individual. It is often associated with the disease, but the disease may not be declared, such as cancer in its early stages (Boyd, 2000). Health promotion is a means of empowering and enabling a particular target group to use the available resources to promote action-oriented and competent-based health that is sustainable to reduced inequalities (Grabowski et al., 2017). Several tools and instruments are used to relay health promotion messages, such as the use of media, leaflets, one-on-one discussions, and focus groups; nonetheless, the current essay pays particular attention to using the poster as a health promotional tool. The following essay will provide a brief discussion on the process used to develop a health promotion poster (See Appendix 1) and later discuss the application of health promotion strategies for preventing illness and making every contact count across the lifespan.

However, the conceptualization of health by WHO described above has been criticised due to its unrealistic nature, inability to promote health, and lack of distinct parameters to measure it. Hence, Hubers et al. (2011) concept of health and well-being is favoured, which refers to the capacity to adapt and self-manage; this conceptualisation empowers individuals to be a salient force in determining their health. It also means that health is different from one person to the next depending on their situation in need (hence it considers the wider determinants of health). The principles of health promotion include: conceptualising health broadly and positively, involvement in addition to participation, a perspective on the individual setting, health equity, and development of action and its competence (Gregg and O'Hara, 2007). Health promotion strategies should be based on a life-course approach, which involves health promotion and health education measures, which are then supported by protective and preventive measures, with curative approaches being the last line of defence to quality of life and well-being (Eriksson and Lindström, 2008).

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According to an integrated review by Kemppainen et al. (2013), nurses have three roles in health promotion. One is the traditional general role of disease prevention in encouraging healthy behaviour. The second role involves patient-focused health promotion. The nurse identifies health promotion needs in different groups and gives specific advice based on their broad knowledge of various diseases and symptoms. Three, the nurses are seen as managers of health promotion projects through implementing health promotion plans, coordinating educational plans within the health facility and in the community, and being involved in health promotion activities for the person, their family, and even the community.

The poster being applied as a medium for communication transmits the message through graphical synthesis that combines images and text to draw the attention of the intended audience (Akister et al., 2000). The posters are considered a hybrid of paper and speech. This is because they offer more detail than speech but less detailed than paper and allows for more interactivity than both (Boggu and Singh, 2015). A poster should be visually appealing and have slogans and images that pull the audience's attention. A poster has a positive appeal, making it readily transcends public acceptance on an emotional, social, intellectual, sensorial, and economic level (Akister et al., 2000).

Before developing a health promotion strategy, one requires to perform a needs assessment. Information required is with regards to the size and nature of the population, identification of areas of unmet needs as well as those that are already met, the prevalence of the disease or condition one is interested in, the efficacy of available interventions, the available services in addition to their capacity, quality and effectiveness (Lawrence, 2020). The group notably used national statistics to define the UK population's problem, whereby 62% of the population is overweight while over 25% of adults are classified as obese (Public Health England [PHE], 2020). Obesity has been linked to metabolic syndrome, which triggers most chronic conditions such as diabetes heart disease and contributes to the National Health Service's significant disease burden. Complications of being overweight are estimated to cost the NHS 6.1 billion GBP every year (Scarborough et al., 2011).

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Additionally, the group drew information from the current political climate of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic posed two obvious challenges; people were less likely to exercise because of the lockdown, which encouraged weight gain and being obese and overweight increases one's susceptibility to the Coronavirus through a decreased immune response and significantly higher inflammation levels (PHE, 2020). Nurses must recognise themselves as health promotion agents by making every contact count (MECC), which is a role that has been amplified by the Coronavirus, which minimizes community interventions due to the lockdown. Working with patients at the individual level denotes the nurse can tailor the interventions to every contact, consistent with the principles of person-centred care (NICE, 2019). Additionally, the MECC approach is a requirement of all nursing practitioners within the NHS. The team also ensured that the poster was brief per the national institute for healthcare excellence guidelines, which states that the interventions should be between 30 seconds to a couple of minutes for easy delivery during routine appointments where the nurse can take advantage of the contact to foster and promote health through behavioural change interventions. The nurse can use the poster to support the brief advice discussion, and patients can have a reference tool for audio-visual learning (NICE, 2019).

The team also considered the life-course approach in promoting health and well-being. Even though the intervention focused on adults, it recognises the intergenerational approach to health improvement (PHE, 2019). It is important to note that when adults change their diet, it creates a healthy environment for the dependents and children, who will also be exposed to healthier food choices (Caswell et al., 2013). Hence, reducing the likelihood of also developing obesity later in life. Also, the adults being more active will create a mental schema that will encourage them to be more active through the enculturation process (Caswell et al., 2013). Research by Fuemmeler et al. (2013) obesity in parents increases the likelihood of children becoming obese. When parents are obese, the children have a 10 to 12 fold chance of becoming obese.

One of the most salient stakeholders relied upon when making the health promotion poster is the government's department of health and social care (DHSC) new obesity strategy dubbed "Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives" developed in 2020 which aims at getting people fit and healthy to protect themselves against covid-19. The UK government recognises obesity as a ticking time bomb due to the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19. The NHS services will encourage health practitioners to become coaches of a healthy weight through training delivered by Public Health England. Excess weight is considered by the DHSC (2020) as one of the few factors that can be modified to reduce the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Concerning health, a strategy chosen, the Ottawa charter developed by WHO suggests three dimensions to health promotion that mediate, enable, and advocate (Saan and Wise, 2011; WHO, 2009). The mediation dimension requires coordination of all concerned stakeholders such as government sectors, voluntary organisations, local authorities, the industries, and the media to mediate the different interests in society to achieve better health outcomes (Saan and Wise, 2011; WHO, 2009). The enable dimension focuses on ensuring health equity is attained by reducing current health status differences and ensuring equal access to health resources, ensuring that one has the best health outcomes regardless of one demographic profile. The advocacy dimension aims at improving the conditions of an individual's political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, behavioural, and biological factors to ensure an improved quality of life (Saan and Wise, 2011; WHO, 2009).

The health promotion poster developed focused on their advocacy domain and specifically changed the behavioural factors to improve the individuals' quality of life by reducing their susceptibility to the Coronavirus (WHO, 2009). Health promotion aims to bolster one's personal and social skills development by providing the audience information about health and enhancing their life skills and how to ensure their choices promote their well-being (WHO, 2009).

The potential strategy that will be applied to convey the health promotion poster's information is a caring conversation developed by Dewar, which involves delivering compassionate care to human relationships (Dewar and MacBride, 2017). The 'caring conversations' aim at conversing with the patient at a deeper level and knowing who they are, what is important to them, and the experiences they have had, and their feelings towards them. In having a caring conversation, the nurse ought to have seven key attributes: courage, emotional connection, consideration of other perspectives, curiosity, collaboration, celebration, and compromise (Bullington et al., 2019). It is critical to be open to the patient's experience and point of view for them to field part of the intervention as opposed to being one-sided and providing a prescriptive approach rather than involving them and collaborating with them in developing the intervention, which is consistent with person-centred care (Dewar and MacBride, 2017). The person-centred approach allows for tailoring the nursing communication to consider the patient's disabilities to ensure that they understand the message relayed (Bullington et al., 2019). The caring conversation approach is consistent with the NMC (2018) code, which advocates that communication should be adapted and tailored to meet a person's needs.

Regarding health literacy, the poster used words that were easy to understand (Osborne, 2012). The words aimed to push the audience into understanding that obesity was a modifiable factor in helping them become more resilient to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the poster used numerous images and applied words sparingly to relay people's message to understand the language regardless of their ethnicities readily. The use of pictures is a universal language that creates visual appeal, and the fact that it transcends language barriers common in London due to the high percentage of black and ethnic minorities (BME) communities (Sany et al., 2020).

In conclusion, using the poster as a health promotional tool was effective, especially if the nurse combined it with less jargon and a caring conversation approach. The caring approach ensures avoidance of a one-size-fits-all approach to the conversational delivery but being considerate of the towards understanding them personally and adopting the approach of delivery to fit their context. It is also critical to underline the fact that the essay adopted Hubers et al. concept of health and well-being as a capacity to adapt and self-manage, which relegates the domain of health as being something that can be modified through behavioural change. The nurse focused on the advocacy role and specifically behavioural modification following the Ottawa charter's health promotion model. Evidence shows that the nurse has a role in health promotion, primarily through making every contact count. This role has been amplified by reducing communal avenues due to the lockdown brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, the poster applied a life-course approach by ensuring that adults in the family understood the role of behavioural change in weight and the benefits gained, extending to their children.


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