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Critical Analysis of Health Promotion Leaflet

Critical analysis of health promotion leaflet This essay aims to critically appraise a health promotion leaflet (Appendix 1), which at present is incorporated in a health promotion campaign from the NHS.

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The evaluation of this leaflet will consist of: where the leaflet was sourced; a rationalization of the selected leaflet; the nurse’s role in relation to health education and health promotion with the use of leaflets; examine the leaflets use of illustrations, design and layout; substance of the information which s enclosed in the leaflet; pore over the leaflets readability information supported with literature on readability test; the leaflets target audience; ethnical concerns and application to practice.

Appendix 1 is a campaign to educate and raise awareness of the human papilloma virus vaccination, which can reduce the risk of cervical cancer in the future. Appendix 1 is aimed at girl’s aged 16-17. The rational behind choosing the selected Appendix 1 is this area under discussion is very close to my heart, as a family member died from cervical cancer at a young age, and therefore whole heartily welcome and support this campaign for girls to participate in the human papilloma virus vaccination with enthusiasm and passion.

The World Health organization (2010) declare that in the UK cervical cancer is the eleventh predominantly common cancer in women, and from the ages of 15-44 is the second most frequent cancer. Cancer research UK (2010) and NHS (2009) both announce that in the UK there were 2828 new cases detected in 2007, also women under the age of thirty five had 702 new cases which were identified. As appendix 1 was sourced from a local GP surgery in North Lanarkshire, in order for the target audience to engage in this health promotion campaign they would have to visit the surgery.

Clerehan (2005) suggest that Doctors have a vital responsibility in promoting health promotion and producing health education to their patients in the format of appendix 1. Appendix 1 contains a free phone helpline number and website and where additional information and question and answers booklet for the target audience; parents or cares. Another appealing quality in appendix 1 is it provides information on what the reader can do if they have failed to attend their appointment in receiving their vaccination. The location of appendix 1 is a uitable site for the target audience. However Hill & Abraham (2007) put forward that health promotion leaflets integrated with positive encouragement in schools to young people can have a dramatic effect, and this will keep the NHS on track in their health promotion campaign for reducing the risk of cervical cancer by having the Human papilloma virus vaccination, as this campaign has the prospective of saving four hundred lives (Laurance 2007). Schools as a location possibly will be a more suitable for this target audience.

Houts et al (2006) advocate that design is a significant aspect for health promotion campaign’s to become attention grabbing and appealing to their target audience. According to Gall & Prigat (2005) and supported by Fuchs & Hippius (2008), patient’s information leaflet design has a huge impact on how patient act in response in the health promotion campaign. Bernardini (2001) recommend Health promotion leaflets should meet a certain criteria, such as an adequate print size, use of colour and layout.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (BNIB) (2011) propose print size on the health promotion leaflets should be font size twelve point in order for the readers to read the content created. Appendix 1 has an estimated print size of 12-14 point, which adheres to the criteria of print size discussed earlier. The uses of colour in leaflets are an imperative factor when trying to catch the reader’s attention (Houts et al 2006b). Appendix 1 has a vibrant colour of pink on the front cover, which is eye catching and makes the reader want to read more.

The layout of health promotion leaflets is another fundamental aspect of whether the reader is motivated to read further (Hoffman & Worrell 2004). Bernier (1993) verbalize that each paragraph should begin by detailing the most important known information firstly, prior to expanding to bring in any new information. The paragraph should then finish up by concluding all main points described within. Appendix 1 has chosen paragraphs for the layout and not bullets points.

Shaddock (2002) suggests that illustrations such as photographs, medical diagrams and charts are often used in leaflets to entice the reader to pick the leaflet up and read on. The use of illustrations such as pictures and text can help readers with poor literacy skills (Godsell and Scarborough 2006). Appendix 1 has a medical diagram and five individual close-up portraits of girls of school age, there are relaxed and smiling giving the impression that the vaccination is a positive and straightforward experience (Hall et al 2007).

There are 5 health promotion approaches that consist of: behavioural change approach; societal change approach; medical approach; educational approach and client-centred approach (Ewles and Simnett 2003). Appendix 1 uses the educational approach to enlighten 16-17 years olds on the human papilloma virus vaccination. The educational approach presents the target audience with a platform of information so that the client/patient can make a knowledgeable evaluation whether to take part in the vaccination programme.

However the nurse must be prepared and able to accept that not clients/patients will pursue the nurse’s advice (whiting & miller 2008) (Demir 2008). However, it may also be argued that appendix 1 also touches on Behavioural change approach and client-centred approach. When creating medical documents aimed for the general public (such as the leaflet in question ‘Appendix 1’), its important to ensure that the content meets with the appropriate readability level. A number of methodologies and tools have been developed to aid with this task.

Ensuring Quality Information for Patients (EQIP) is one such tool, which has been developed (Moult et al 2004). This tool has proven to be both a valid and reliable utility enabling both information managers and healthcare professionals to create documentation for the appropriate target audiences. Other such tools include DISCERN (Charnock et al 1999) and SMOG (Sand-Jecklin 2007). The World Health Organisation (1984) define health promotion as empowering people to take the onus of responsibility for personal health more on themselves, and thus have much more effective control over their own general health.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (2008) advocate that nurses have an obligation to endorse health promotion and well-being. Chambers & Thompson (2009) suggests that nurses firstly require knowledge and understanding of health promotion in order to empower their patients. The provision of data in a clear and easy to interpret format is paramount if we wish clients to have confidence in their practitioner as well as to feel more in control of their care (Coulter 2002).

Verbal communication is an important part of the client practitioner relationship, however it is just as important that this is backed up by written material when ever possible (Johnson & Sandford 2005). Health professionals should ensure such documentation is at hand (easily obtainable) for each client as required. Having written conformation is a much need asset as it allows the client to take on board the information in a more in-depth fashion as well as allowing them to communicate this information with others (Bernier 1993b).

Performing a critical analysis on scientific/educational material (such as this one) can only enhance the readers overall acquired information (Buxton 1999). Nursing staff can and should critically assess any written documentation prior to distributing as it can only help in the long run (e. g. answering client question and giving advice) (White et al 2004). It is quite often the case that health care professionals do not make full use of the available written information sources due to different reasons including absent-mindedness, restricted availability or even personal beliefs (Weinman 1990).

Another factor that written materials are not being used to their full potential is that the leaflets are often misplaced or neglected in heaps when nurses should be using these to their full advantage (White et all 2004b). In conclusion to this essay, ‘Appendix 1’ was appropriately placed within the doctors surgery, being placed on a visible shelf within the surgery’s reception area in such a manner as to encourage passive reading. The target audience was also clearly defined as being for 16 and 17 year old girls.

The appendix itself was written and designed in a highly readable fashion ensuring an ease of basic understanding. One flaw noted was that this leaflet was only available in ‘English’ within the Surgery. The leaflet is available in other languages, however instructions for retrieving this in another language via NHS are also written in English. This issue however has no easy work around, as complete language coverage would not be feasible within such a small community surgery, and leaflet size and word count are also limited for leaflets of this type.

Another flaw noted (although perhaps intended by Author as it may be aimed at those who have already left school) is that the target audience is aimed at 16 and 17 year old girls. The content within however details how immunisations are distributed from age 13 at schools. This leaflet could perhaps have undergone further readability testing or perhaps a further form of proof reading prior to publication. However in pointing out these flaws, it should be stated that general message and ease of understanding seem to be pretty clear.


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