Community Health Education Theory as Foundation
Community health education theory guides not only why but how you approach a public health problem. Knowing how to apply theory appropriately is important, but choosing a theory that fits your public health education, research, or intervention endeavor is a vital first step. Choosing the wrong theory (or applying the right theory incorrectly) can be as harmful to a study or intervention as not having a theoretical foundation at all. Public health endeavors that are solidly grounded in theory are likely to be viewed as more valid than those that are solely based on intuition, experience, and prior research. Grounding public health education, research, or interventions in theory does not guarantee success, but it does increase the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes.
For this Discussion, research the current public health literature, and select a study that uses community health education theory as its foundation. Consider the study outcomes in light of the theory that was used.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post a description of the community health education theory from the article you selected. Then, explain how it was applied in the study. Finally, explain how the health education theory in the article contributed to success or failure of the intervention in the study.
Expert Solution Preview
Community health education theory provides a framework for approaching public health issues. The right choice of theory and its appropriate application can lead to desired outcomes in public health education, research, or intervention endeavors. In this scenario, I shall answer a question related to community health education theory as the foundation of a public health study.
The study titled “Preventing HIV/STD Through a Community-Based Group Intervention for Young Latino MSM” by Kubicek et al. (2015) uses the social cognitive theory (SCT) as its foundation. According to SCT, behavior change can occur through the interaction of personal, environmental, and behavioral factors. It posits that individuals learn through observing and imitating others, as well as through positive and negative reinforcements.
In the study, SCT was applied by providing a group intervention program that aimed to enhance knowledge and motivation, build skills, and create social support for young Latino men who have sex with men (MSM) in Los Angeles. The study also used peer leaders who were trained on the intervention to communicate and model behavior change to participants. Participants were encouraged to practice new skills and behaviors such as condom use, HIV testing, and self-efficacy for safer sex.
The health education theory in the article contributed to the success of the intervention in the study. The study found that participants who received the intervention had a significant increase in knowledge about HIV and STD-preventive behaviors, as well as a reduction in the number of unprotected sexual acts. The use of peer leaders, who were drawn from the same community, enhanced participant engagement and trust in the intervention program. The study findings suggest that community-based interventions grounded in SCT can be effective in promoting behavior change and reducing HIV/STD transmission risk among young Latino MSM.
In conclusion, community health education theory is essential in public health research, education, and interventions. Choosing the appropriate theory and applying it correctly contributes to the success of public health endeavours. In the study reviewed, SCT served as a valuable foundation for promoting behavior change and reducing HIV/STD transmission in a community-based intervention program for young Latino MSM.