What are the limitations of behaviourism (e.g. lifestyle change programs) in improving population health, and what are some alternative approaches?
Problems with the management of inequities
Using behaviourism allows handling an array of issues, particularly when attempting to promote a positive change in a patient’s behaviour. For example, positive behavioural characteristics can be encouraged in a patient. However, the specified tool also implies dealing with certain challenges when promoting positive alterations in patients’ behaviours. For example, the fact that the specified tool does not allow for the use of culture-specific approaches needs to be mentioned as a reason for concern. As a result, the issue of inequities remains a massive obstacle on the way to implementing the programs aimed at improving the quality of people’s lives and promoting a change in lifestyle.
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Limited positive results due to a smaller scope
Apart from the issue associated with inequities, the use of behaviourism implies significant limitations regarding the range of positive outcomes. The specified phenomenon can be explained by the fact that the scope of the behavioural approach does not allow for patient-specific interventions. As a result, opportunities for introducing the approach that will help address the increasingly high levels of diversity within the global community are likely to be missed. Behaviourism does not allow taking a wide variety of factors into account when considering opportunities for efficient intervention. As a result, the chances to enhance the proposed approach with the help of societal, cultural, and other perspectives are overlooked.
Possibility of risky behaviours development
In addition to the problems mentioned above, there is a threat of people indulging in risky behaviours when overly exposed to particular stress factors. Seeing how wide the variety of reactions toward stressful environments may be, there is a high probability of people resorting to rather unsafe behaviours when undergoing the specified type of therapy. Consequently, the threat of failing to deliver the services of the required quality due to excessive exposure of patients toward the environment in which they feel rather uncomfortable emerges. The identified scenario is aggravated by the fact that social workers have a comparatively small amount of control over the process, thus, making the threat to a patient’s well-being even greater.
What is the value of citizen and community participation in health decision making?
Provision of support
The importance of citizen and community participation in the enhancement of therapies efficacy can hardly be underrated. Encouragement of community members is essential since it implies the creation of a profound support system. The latter is crucial for the further enhancement of cooperation within the community and the emphasis on completing a particular therapy to attain specific results and experience progress in managing a certain issue.
Studies show, in turn, that the focus on community involvement must help encourage patients to develop the required abilities and habits. Furthermore, the specified approach will help build awareness among the community members and, thus, encourage the target demographic to develop independence in obtaining crucial information that will help them locate the necessary services and acquire appropriate assistance.
Fast data transfer will lead to a steep rise in awareness levels. By encouraging community members to participate in the process of the protection of vulnerable populations, one will be able to provide people with extensive information about some of the most problematic issues faced by the members of diverse communities nowadays. As a result, the foundation for a massive campaign aimed at building awareness can be constructed.
Furthermore, the specified change can serve as the platform for encouraging target populations to acquire lifelong learning skills. The specified abilities will compel both vulnerable populations and the rest of the community members to engage in the process of continuous learning. Consequently, the process of meeting the needs of diverse patients will be simplified since the cross-cultural dialogue will occur at a much faster pace.
Therefore, the focus on community involvement is essential in the process of health decision-making. The identified strategy leads to a massive rise in the number of opportunities for enhancing communication and collaboration between the members of a particular environment. Moreover, the sense of unity will lead to a rise in community support and the efficacy in disseminating information among community members.
Acquisition of essential skills
With the enhancement of community involvement and the subsequent promotion of collaboration among its members, faster acquisition of the relevant knowledge and skills will become a possibility. Skill training will become more efficient. The values and principles based on which the development of a sustainable approach toward health management will become possible once every member of a community starts contributing to building the knowledge system. For instance, the focus on the ecological, organic, holistic, and other constituents of the health management framework will be established with the introduction of the specified ideas into the realm of the diverse modern community.
Communication between community members will help disseminate information. Particularly, one must pay especially close attention to the use of the latest information management tools for dispersing the crucial data and building the awareness necessary to address primary health concerns. The use of social networks must be deemed as the most obvious choice since it helps embrace as vast a range of target populations as possible.
Furthermore, the specified tool leads to a steep rise in the degree of unity among participants. The opportunity of keeping every single member of the community informed, as well as maintaining the dialogue between them consistent, should be regarded as an important means of addressing the current lack of a coherent information strategy. Although the use of the identified techniques implies a certain lack of control over the process of data dissemination, it still offers extensive opportunities for informing vulnerable populations, as well as the rest of the community members, about the tools for handling some of the current health issues. Particularly, the chances for fast identification of a certain health issue and the location of the available resources should be mentioned.
At present, the needs of marginalized community members will have been met. The focus on cooperation and unity within a particular environment must lead to a rise in collaboration levels among the participants. It could be argued that the current levels of diversity may not allow for flawless communication between the key stakeholders. Indeed, cross-cultural communication implies dealing with numerous misunderstandings and misconceptions.
However, with the focus on the active acquisition of knowledge and experience necessary for communicating efficiently, as well as negotiation as the foundation for addressing conflicts, one will be able to build a strategy that will ultimately lead to a significant improvement in the well-being of vulnerable community members. Particularly, the needs of the latter will be recognized, and the factors that jeopardize their safety will be removed from the context of the community in question. As a result, one will create the setting in which health issues will be addressed fast and where community support will be used consistently in meeting the needs of patients.