Competency: Examine Relationships among Behavioral, Environmental and Genetic Factors that Enhance or Compromise Health Factors
Within this competency, there are sub-competencies including identification that influence health factors, identification of factors that influence health behaviors and those factors that compromise or enhance health (Areas of Responsibilities, Competencies, and Sub-competencies for the Health Education Specialists 2010). There is the need to improve the capacity to determine the factors that influence health behaviors. They may be actions of individuals or communities. In the health education systems, there is no emphasis on the development of the capacity to determine consumption, compliance and utilization patterns, self-care and coping mechanisms. This has caused a gap in identification of the most important factors that influence the health of individuals and the wider society.
There are sections of the society that are not economically endowed, and this compromises their ability to seek treatment or pay for medical insurance. Economic instability causes dependency on social programs and financial or medical aid, and in case of the lack thereof, complicated health problems or even death. There is the need to determine whether all communities are aware of various social programs so that medical attention is made available to all. It also helps understand why some individuals may be reluctant in seeking medical attention. There is also a need to understand how cultural characteristics of individuals or groups may compromise their health. Perceptions, attitudes and beliefs may discourage modern treatment methods or may cause individuals to use concurrent treatment methods that complicate health.
Lifestyle factors such as drinking and smoking may compromise response to treatment. Consequently, there is need to develop an all-inclusive treatment method that involves rehabilitation, physical discipline and medicine. Sometimes, patients are reluctant to reveal personal addictions while others deviously obtain prescriptions from medical personnel without prior diagnosis. Some of these prescriptions enhance addictions and compromise recovery. There is the need, therefore, to work further on the challenges of medical treatment and recovery, especially those related to, or affected by discipline and addiction.
The role of genetics in personal health histories is often downplayed
Additionally, public health records lack data on medical conditions by genetic characteristics of families or groups. Even when such data exists, preventive programs for non-affected individuals are non-existent. These programs should encompass the groups perceptions of modern medicine, traditional treatment, susceptibility, recovery and propagation of the disease in question. These areas should be developed further in order to identify those that are most important and changeable with a view of determining or promoting the objectives of health promotion programs.
Areas of Responsibilities, Competencies, and Sub-competencies for the Health Education Specialists 2010. (n.d.). Retrieved November 17, 2013, from National Commission for Health Education Credentialing: http:/www.ncheg.org