Free research paper on addressing behavioral risk factors

Modern day healthcare is focused more on prevention of diseases and promoting wellness than in the treatment and curing of diseases. In these disease preventive efforts, the population based intervention model can be successfully used to address behavioral risk factors such as smoking, binge drinking and poor diets that cause diseases. In this essay, the population based intervention model is evaluated in light of the risk factor of smoking. Smoking poises serious health challenges and has been linked to many diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and lung disorders.
The population based intervention model can be divided into three levels onf intervention; the downstream intervention, the midstream interventions and the upstream interventions. Downstream interventions focus on the individual cognitive-behavioral changes. For the case of addressing the risk factor posed by smoking, downstream interventions include work place smoking bans and media campaigns. Midstream interventions in tobacco use control focus on delaying tobacco use among population groups such as the youth who are at a high risk at of becoming smokers. Midstream interventions can be implemented in schools through curriculum that teach the negative effects of smoking. Upstream interventions focus on social and policy interventions. A good example in the case study of smoking is fiscal policy to tax tobacco products and therefore make them less accessible due to costs. Another possible upstream intervention is regulating nicotine as a drug (Benowitz, 2010). When implemented effectively, these interventions can work to curb smoking. The downstream interventions and midstream interventions are effective because they invoke an individual’s will to quit smoking. But despite having high effectiveness, downstream interventions generate inequalities (Lorenc et al., 2013). Upstream interventions do not generate inequalities and their effectiveness is based on successful implementation of the policy and Callinan et al., have demonstrated that legislation can reduce tobacco use and exposure to secondary smoke (2010).


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Callinan, J. E., Clarke, A., Doherty, K., & Kelleher, C. (2010). Legislative smoking bans for
reducing secondhand smoke exposure, smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 4.
Lorenc, T., Petticrew, M., Welch, V., & Tugwell, P. (2013). What types of interventions
generate inequalities? Evidence from systematic reviews. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 67(2), 190-193.