This essay will critically assess a case study involving screening of health professionals. Firstly it will define health promotion and its attributes, then by using relevant course materials it will evaluate a number of issues in relation to the case study. It will consider what is characterised by the term 'good practice', look at the things that may strengthen the initiative and discuss the ethical dilemmas that may be associated with the scheme.
The World Health Organisation (WHO, 1986) defines health promotion as
"...the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realise aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. Health is, therefore, seen as a resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasising social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities. Therefore, health promotion is not just the responsibility of the health sector, but goes beyond healthy lifestyles to psychosocial wellbeing"
Jones and Naido (2000) portray five approaches to health promotion; Medical, Behaviour change, Educational, Client- centred and Societal change. The Portsmouth Health initiative described in the case study is based on the medical approach as its aim is to encourage people to seek earlier detection of illness and disease.
The Portsmouth initiative can be seen as an example of good practice as identified in this description, since it aimed to improve the health of the staff. The Ottawa Charter (1998) terms this kind of initiative as 'empowerment' as it raises its clients awareness of the issues involved; it also allows the clients to read useful material about the tests.
Professional staff were given leaflets about the screening test being promoted and given an explanation of what the initiative involved. There is also the statement of further screening being available after the initial tests and as Juttmann et al (2001) explains, people who have regular screening tests are more likely to have something diagnosed early in life, and therefore have a better chance of being successfully treated. Another reason why health promotion and screening should be continuous is because diseases such as aids, BSE or heart disease are not reported frequently in the media and so they tend to be forgotten about.
Good practice was also demonstrated in the case study by the evaluation of the initiative. However, there are two types of evaluation the first being 'outcome evaluation' which is to help to rationalize the effort and resources that went into the project and it shows that it was worthwhile and effective. The second type is 'process evaluation' which provides the support that a company needs to keep their project going, it also highlights any errors made which can help a company to make improvements for the...