Socioecological Model to Improve Public Health Practice

The socioecological model (SEM) is a conceptual design that facilitates the interaction of various components to improve public health practice (Benner, Zimmerman, Bauermeister & Caldwell, 2013). Features of socioecological models include individual, physical environment, social environment, and policy environment. Socioecological models are applied to personal and environmental factors to further the understanding of human behaviour and the barriers to public health practice. Thus, the approaches influence the interaction of the individual with physical activities. This paper focuses on developing a visual representation of the SEM presented in the learning materials. In addition, it explains how the model can be used to inform the practice of public health.

Developing a visual representation of the socioecological model
The model provided in the learning resources has the following arenas:

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Arena 1: Individual socioeconomic circumstances
Arena 2: Physical and cultural community environment
Arena 3: Personal management of health
Arena 4: and delivery
Apart from the four arenas, there are five components that are either linked or not linked to specific arena. However, it is important to note that the four components act together to influence the outcomes of public health. In other words, they influence each other (Benner et al., 2013). At the centre of the model is the individual component that is characterised by features such as education, income, gender, wealth and education. Benner and colleagues (2013) assert that individual factors such as education and gender could bring stresses in the environment that negatively impact adolescent girls. Common features of the component are the arena 1 and arena 2, which are determined by attributes of an individual. The interpersonal component represents how factors such as family, peers and neighbours could determine the health of persons in a community (Burgard & Lee-Rife, 2009). The organisations component that is shown in the model represents large groups of people that greatly influence health outcomes. Among these are schools, religious bodies, community groups and stores. For example, schools could be utilised as avenues for teaching young people ways of staying healthy in society. The community component is a broad feature of the model that is applied at societal level. It has both environmental and cultural attributes. For example, overcrowding and high rates of pollution increases the chances of . The features are linked to the arena 2. The outermost feature of the health care approach is public policy, which encompasses aspects such as health policy, media and economic factors, among others.

How the SEM can be used to inform the practice of public health
The SEM can be utilised by public health officials to approach health issues from a holistic way that would lead to better and sustained outcomes. The model helps to create a framework that could be act as a guide for . For example, the framework can be used to formulate objectives towards achieving better health status of individuals in society. Using the various components of the SEM, professionals in the field of public health can determine the areas that would require more concentration in order to achieve the set objects (Burgard & Lee-Rife, 2009). For example, it might be identified that public health policies would in a better way in a given community. Thus, it would be appropriate to adopt strategies that would result in sound policies. Most importantly, the approach to understanding the linkages of various factors that could affect health can also be used to determine the strategies that can be used to implement the selected policies. This can be done by using the SEM to learn about the success and failures of past public health outcomes (Burgard & Lee-Rife, 2009).

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