Q2) What influences the Health of Individuals?


CORE 1 (cont’d)


Q2) What influences the Health of Individuals?


Your decisions will move you up or down your own health continuum.

What are some of those decisions?

What do you think influences your health affecting decisions?

What makes it easier, more likely to choose one action over another?

• Health is multi-causal. An individual’s level of health status and quality of life are the result of many factors interacting.

• These factors are referred to as

Determinants of health

analyse how an individual’s health can be determined by a range of factors acting in various combinations

Determinants of Health

– individual factors

– sociocultural factors

– socioeconomic factors

– environmental factors

- individual factors, eg knowledge and skills, attitudes, genetics

Individual Factors

• Define “Individual Factors”

• Those factors that are unique to each person that can determine their level of health.

• Describe “Individual Factors”

• They are the factors of health knowledge and skills, personal attitudes and the value we place on health and genetic factors that increase the likelihood of particular health problems.

- sociocultural factors



Sociocultural (cont’d)

Sociocultural (Cont’d) MEDIA

Religion / Cultural background

Socioeconomic Factors

Environmental Factors

There are some positives….

• the degree of control individuals can exert over their health

– modifiable and non-modifiable health determinants

– the changing influence of determinants through different life stages

– investigate how the determinants of health explain why some individuals and groups have better or worse health than others.

- modifiable and non-modifiable health determinants

Easier to modify

Difficult to modify


14 yrs

- the changing influence of determinants through different life stages

More Modifiable Less Modifiable

30 yrs

60 yrs

Family, peers, diet, exercise, income, media, geographic location

• health as a social construct

- recognises the interrelationship of determinants

- challenges the notion that health is solely an individual’s responsibility.

∙ Health as a Social Construct

• A persons health behaviours and health status are significantly determined by factors relating to the social physical and cultural environment that they live in.

• Recognising that health is a social construct explains why some groups have better or worse health than others

• and that achievement in improvement in particular groups health will be a complex and prolonged process.

recognises the interrelationship of determinants

• Most socioeconomically disadvantaged

• Poorer levels of education

• Higher rates of unemployment

• Lower paid occupations

• Live / work in hazardous environments

• Greater difficulties accessing health care

• Lower rates of home ownership, overcrowding, social cohesion

• More risk factors i.e. smoking, h.b.p.

- challenges the notion that

‘health is solely an individual’s responsibility’.

• Define “health is solely an individual’s responsibility”.

• A person is at ‘fault’ if they choose poor health behaviours, i.e. that there are no other factors to consider.

• But is it?????

• Describe

in more detail

• This notion is based on the idea that a person can freely choose behaviours that either impact positively or negatively on their health – level of activity, diet, risk taking, drug use. This ignores the degree of control a person has over their decisions

• Challenging this notion means that recognition is given to other factors that influence the individuals decisions / behaviours.

So who is responsible?

Responsibility lies somewhere in between.

• Explain significance of viewing health as solely the responsibility of individuals, why

must this view be challenged.

• This view has limitations in explaining people’s health status and addressing health concerns and so measures put in place to improve health will be narrow and ineffective for many people.

Why have the measures for reducing smoking been successful but not for alcohol abuse?

• Analyse how this view of health has limitations and how this can impact upon attempts to improve a people’s health.

• Assumes that knowledge is enough to make people healthier, yet doesn’t explain why people who know better still have poor health behaviours,

• Ignores the influence of health determinants

• Attempts to improve health will be less successful as a result.

• Evaluate the benefit of challenging this notion of

‘fault’ and that recognising that health is NOT solely the responsibility of the individual.

• Peoples health behaviours are influence d by other factors which also have responsibility for determining a persons health.

o Predisposing factors – increase likelihood o Enabling factors – support behaviour o Reinforcing factors – help behaviour continue.

o To address health issues ALL factors need to be considered.

Why does she binge drink?