Full course description
It seems that many of today’s health issues do not go away. They even worsen over time. One could wonder why certain health problems are so resilient against change. These problems are referred to as ‘wicked’. They contrasted theseproblems with ‘tame’ problems. Tame problems can be dealt with in a linear fashion: gather data, analyze data, formulate solution, implement solution. Although tame problems may be quite complex, solutions can be found by known techniques and it is clear when a solution has been reached. In other words, tame problems are as puzzles: there is a solution and they can be or might already have been solved. Unfortunately, many of today’s problems are not tame, but ‘wicked’. Examples are addiction, drug and alcohol abuse, overweight, stress-related burnout, depression and suicide, STD, and most chronic diseases. To solve such wicked problems, the traditional problem-solving approach does not work. Reasons for this are that wicked problems change over time and culture, are multifaceted, and have no straightforward solutions. Wicked health issues need to be tackled within a ‘new’ ‘health promotion’ framework that considers the social, political,The aim of this module is to acquire knowledge and skills on processes and strategies enabling people to increase control over, and improve their health (= health promotion), in a broader context. Students are required to integrate knowledge acquired in this and previous modules by developing a comprehensive strategic plan aimed at promoting health on a particular issue, setting or community, with a large focus on international settings and communities. For this they will work on a wicked health problem of choice in a small project group with frequent supervision with a coach and interactive exchanges with fellow students (= Part 1). In addition, for students in this master programme, it is important to become able debaters promoting their views and plans to different audiences. To shape these skills, they prepare for and engage in a debate in what is called ‘the argument game’, in which they defend a position in favour of a specific public health approach (= Part 2). Finally, in this course reflection on the meaning, impact and boundaries of health promotion interventions is highlighted and is started by a discussion of Juli Zeh’s novel ‘Corpus Delicti’. The discussion is furthered by critical reading and lectures of several articles on ethical issues such as social equity, state control, self-regulation, public-private partnership, individual autonomy, and stigmatization (= Part 3). and ethical values in society.
Knowledge and understanding:You will be able to
- Demonstrate knowledge of the philosophical and political background of ideas on health promotion, in an international context;
- Describe the structural factors affecting public health, and their interaction: socio-economic conditions, health services and financing, law and governmental policy, communities’ structure, media, education;
- Describe planned approaches in promoting public health, with recent developments such as public-private collaboration, collaboration between health care organization(s) and prevention;
- Describe an analysis of proximal and structural aspects influencing conditions affecting health of individuals;
- Demonstrate knowledge of ethical aspects of health promotion.
Application of knowledge:You know how to
- Plan and analyze a strategic plan aimed at a particular health problem;
- Develop an integrative, community-based strategic plan using collected data;
- Perform a stakeholder analysis in a health promotion context.
Judgement:You will be able to
- Discuss basic tenets of health promotion actions, barriers and ethical constraints;
- Integrate views, perceptions, and devising evidence-based strategies;
- Argue in favor of a particular approach promoting health;
- Reflect on the role and place of health promotion in contemporary society.
Communication skills:You will be able to
- Write a policy plan for a wicked health problem;
- Develop and convey written and verbal arguments in favor of a particular approach promoting health;
- Write an essay to convey your views on the role and place of health promotion in contemporary society;
- Provide critical and constructive feedback to fellow students
Learning skills:You are able to
- Perform a stakeholder analysis;
- Perform an epidemiological analysis;
- Perform an analysis of structural factors;
- Advocate certain health promotional strategies to different audiences.
The literature is specific for the wicked health problem you will focus on. Specific suggestions will be provided during the course.