PUB HLTH 7076 - Health Policy and Public Health Interventions
North Terrace Campus - Winter - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code PUB HLTH 7076 Course Health Policy and Public Health Interventions Coordinating Unit Public Health Term Winter Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Intensive short course of 36 hours Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Course Description This course is designed to provide students with an in depth understanding of health policies and their development, implementation and analysis, and of public health interventions at population, community and individual levels. Health policies will be studied in health care system, national and international contexts. Health policy development, implementation and analysis are discussed with a focus on using them in disease prevention and health promotion. The lectures and discussions consider how a health policy is formulated, implemented and analysed, including the roles of public interest, vested interests, ideology and politics. Various frameworks for analysis are considered. The course takes the Ottawa Charter Health Promotion Action Areas as a framework for public health interventions. Facilitating factors and barriers to disease prevention and health promotion are highlighted.
Course Coordinator: Dr Teresa Burgess
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Lester Wright
Phone: +61 8313 0944
Location: Room 813, Hughes Building
Course Coordinator: Teresa Burgess
Phone: +61 8313 3468
Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
Learning and Teaching Team
Phone: +61 8313 2128
Location: Level 7, 178 North Terrace
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Understand current public health issues and controversies and critique the different public policy responses to them both within Australia and internationally 2 Understand and apply different theoretical frameworks to the analysis of national and international health policies 3 Review and critique the policies and strategies associated with current, specific public health interventions 4 Apply relevant theories to the analysis of a specific public health problem and assess how the problem is currently being addressed 5 Develop a public health intervention plan for a specific public health problem integrating the principles of the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 4, 5 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 2-5 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 2, 3, 5 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 3-5 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. N/A A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-5 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 3, 4, 5
Required ResourcesThere is no recommended textbook for this course.
Recommended ResourcesThe following books provide useful readings:
Policy development and analysis
Althaus, C., Bridgman, P. & Davis, G. 2007. The Australian Policy Handbook. (4th Edition). Crpws Nest, NSW. Allen & Unwin
Barraclough S, Gardner H. 2008. Analysing health policy: a problem-oriented approach. Sydney: Elsevier. (Presents policy analysis in the Australian context]
Bacchi, C. 2009. Analysing Policy: What’s the problem represented to be? Frenchs Forest, NSW. Pearson Australia
Lin V, Gibson B. 2003. Evidence based health policy. Oxford: Oxford University Press (particularly relevant to the Australian context)
Palmer, G & Short, S. 2010. Health Care and Public Policy: an Australian Analysis. (4th Edition) South Yarra. Palgrave Macmillan.
eimer DL, Vining AR. 2005. Policy Analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Public Health Interventions
Fleming ML, Parker E. 2007, Health promotion: principles and practice in the Australian context. 3rd Edition. Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest NSW.
Lin V, Smith J, Fawkes S. 2007. Public Health Practice in Australia: The Organised Effort. Allen & Unwin, St. Leonards, NSW.
Keleher H, Murphy B. 2007. Understanding Health: A Determinants Approach. Oxford University Press. Melbourne. (chapters 11, 12, 13).
Egger G, Spark R, Lawson J, Donovan R. 2013 [(3rd edition), Health Promotion Strategies and Methods. The McGraw Hill Companies, Inc. Sydney.
Rootman, I; Goodstadt, M; Hyndman, B; McQueen, D; Potvin, L; Springett, L & Ziglio, E (Eds). 2001. Evaluation in health promotion. Principles and perspectives. Geneva: WHO Regional Publications, European Series, No. 92. This book can be downloaded from: http://www.euro.who.int/en/publications/abstracts/evaluation-in-health-promotion.-principles-and-perspectives
Online LearningPublic Health makes lecture notes and other teaching aids available electronically to students, through MyUni.
MyUni is the primary entry point to online learning at Adelaide University. MyUni provides students and staff with access to course materials, discussion forums, announcements, online and many other features to help manage your study or teaching. You can connect to MyUni on or off campus from an internet connected computer using a Web browser. The URL is: www.myuni.adelaide.edu.au/
Login to this resource using your Username and Password. Once logged on to MyUni, you will find the information displayed is customised to present only details relevant to you and the online content for courses that you are studying. For enquiries about online education services, what’s available and access, contact the Online Education Helpdesk:
The Helpdesk is available for extended hours during the week or through voicemail.
Phone: (08) 8303 3335
Accessing announcements about changes in scheduling, course information etc.
Accessing lecture notes both in pdf format and, if recording is possible in the allocated lecture theatre, in audiofile format.
Posting questions. You are encouraged to post queries on the discussion board in addition to emailing course coordinator the questions of an academic nature (e.g., about assignments).
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThe course lectures provide factual information, introduce public health concepts and provide an opportunity to the class for discussing the concepts in an interactive lecture setting. Lectures are supported by group work for discussing and practicing planning interventions for selected public health issues. Assignments provide an opportunity to undertake in depth analysis of some key concepts of the course.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.The intensive course requires 36 hours of contact time (lectures, discussion, and exercises).
Additionally, time is needed for self-study:
it is estimated that about eight hours per week of private study are required about a week before and for about five weeks after the one week intensive course to fully comprehend the concepts introduced through lectures, and to complete the assignment and prepare for the presentations.
A total of about 150 hours of input is required over a period of about 2 months. This time input includes contact time, readings, preparation for assignments during the course as well as after the course and preparation and submission of the assignments.
Learning Activities Summary
Date Time Session TBA 9am
Introduction to the class
Introduction to public health Public health framework: approaches to policy
The ethics of public health policy making
Healthy public policies
Public health policy and politics
Organisation of public health (exercise)
The policy cycle
Framework for analysing a national health care system
Analysing policy (the Bacchi approach)
Economic analysis in decision making
Analysis and comparisons of a national health care system (exercise)
Issues and alternatives
Access, quality and cost
Exercise: priority setting
Health in the ageing population
Impact analysis and externalities
Emergency Response (exercise)
Revisiting population health: communicable and non-communicable disease
Health promotion and disease prevention principles and frameworks
Social and behavioural change for health promotion
Community participation in health promotion
Developing and managing health promotion programs
Health promotion and prevention in non-communicable disease
Surveillance, prevention & control of infectious disease
Health promotion settings
Emerging health policy issues
Developing a health promotion program (exercise)
Monitoring & Evaluation
Evaluating a health promotion initiative (exercise)
Health in all policies
Issues and challenges in public health/health promotion
Course summary/discussion of assignments
SELTS and wrap-up
Specific Course RequirementsN/A
Small Group Discovery ExperienceN/A
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed Quiz 1 Summative/Formative 5% 1, 2, 4 Quiz 2 Summative/Formative 5% 1, 2, 4 Participation exercises Formative 15% 1-5 Interventions essay Summative 35% 1, 4, 5 Health policy paper Summative 40% 1-3
Assessment Related RequirementsNone
Assessment Detail1 & 2. Quizzes
The students will complete two line short answer/multiple choice question quizzes, which will test the knowledge gained at the lectures. Each of the quiz’ carries 5% of marks.
3. Interventions Essay
Write a short essay of about 2500 words
Select a health issue, which is of public health importance in a country of your choice, and identify the public health program that is being implemented to promote health with regard to the issue selected.
Review and critique the selected public health intervention. The essay should highlight promotion, prevention and health protection actions if any. The critique, using relevant literature, should help the reader understand the theoretical background, and strengths and limitations of the strategies including concepts such as policy and legislation, changes for supportive environment, behaviour change strategies, the need for reorienting health care.
Guide to Interventions Essay
This is an individual assignment
Select a health issue, which is currently of public health importance in a country of your choice, and identify the public health program that is being implemented to promote health with regard to the issue selected. It will help you for the reason that you will find sufficient information on current public health/health promotion action.
The chosen health issue needs to be the one that is currently affecting a large number of people in Australia or the other selected community/country. You could select from amongst infectious, non-infectious chronic diseases, health of a particular sub-population group (such as women, mothers, children), and health care access and quality issues. Inform, briefly, why the issue is significant in terms of factors such as how many people it affects, severity, disability and death, cost to the health system/country etc.
Briefly describe the determinants that have led to this issue becoming a public health concern. You need to consider social (such as education, economic, employment, disempowerment of some of the sub-population groups), cultural (such as beliefs, attitudes and practices), public health and health system (access to effective public health programs, access to quality care etc), behavioural (personal practices that could be healthy such as safe sex practices or unhealthy such as tobacco use). This brief description of determinants is important as one cannot critique what public health actions and health services are needed unless one has a good understanding of the determinants.
About 300-500 words. (5 Marks)
Review and critique the selected public health intervention using Ottawa Charter Health Promotion Action Areas’ as the framework for development of such interventions. The essay should highlight promotion, prevention (and health protection if any) actions. The critique, using relevant current literature, should help the reader understand the theoretical background, and strengths and limitations of the strategies including concepts such as legislation, changes for supportive environment, behaviour change strategies, the need for reorienting health care.
One simple format to organise your assignment is to comment on the strategies under five Ottawa Charter Action Areas. However, you are not bound to use this format, and may like to construct the description and critique according to various actions. Reflect on the measures/actions how (and if) that are based on one or the other theoretical concepts such as epidemiological triad, high risk and population based strategies, primary and secondary prevention, behaviour change strategies, harm minimisation etc. As almost all public health issues affect different sub-population groups differently, you may consider discussing, briefly, how these actions address health inequalities affecting sub-population groups.
The limitations and strengths could be discussed in terms of concepts such as disjointedness of the approach, focus limited to behaviour changes, the lack of evidence for initiatives taken to address the issue, community involvement, information needs, intersectoral collaboration to address the multiple determinants, cultural appropriateness. For this essay do not focus on limited funding as a limitation. However, if relevant the inadequacy of human resource needed to implement the proposed action could be mentioned briefly.
The above list of concepts is a guideline. You don’t need to address each of these concepts. Similarly, while reviewing the public health actions it is less important to exhaust all the actions that are being implemented. More important is to comment on those few (3 or 4) main actions that provide you an opportunity to share your understanding about public health interventions.
About 1500-2000 words.
(20 Marks: for this section, written with clarity, coherence and scholarship)
Towards the end (conclusion), write your overall impression about the relevance and appropriateness of the action(s), and the factors that [could potentially] hinder the efforts to effectively manage the issue, what further public health action is required
About 200 words. (5 Marks)
Structure, systematic and logical presentation
4. Health Policy Paper (3000 words)
This is an individual assignment.
Prepare a research paper on one issue in public health policy. The paper must demonstrate HOW YOU REACH A POSITION on a public health policy issue. The paper must start with identification of a specific, real-world dilemma e.g.
How should the U.S. meet the health care needs of undocumented immigrants?
What should be the recommended policy about breast feeding by HIV infected mothers in a third world country?
How should the Australia react to the rapid increase in expenditures for pharmaceuticals?
How should safety of eggs be assured?
The paper should then discuss the history of the debate over the issue, identify at least three (3) alternative positions, identify arguments used to support various positions held on the issue, and demonstrate the factors you have considered and process you have gone through in reaching a position on the issue.
Guide to Health Policy Paper
Every year new health policy issues arise. As each new issue arises you must be able to determine your position on the newly important issue. This paper will demonstrate how you will reach that position, what process you will go through in decision-making.
The public health policy issue for this assignment must be one that cannot be answered “yes/no;” you must offer at least three (3) alternative responses.
The focus of the paper is NOT description of an issue; the focus of the paper is NOT advocacy of a position; the focus of the paper IS demonstrating how you reach a position on a public health policy issue. (If you write five pages describing the issue, one on alternatives and one on evaluation of the alternatives, that is NOT focusing on the decision-making framework!)
If you begin your paper with your recommended position, that is NOT responsive to the assignment.
This paper should be approximately seven (7) or eight (8) pages in length and should utilize principles covered in the course as well as relevant publications.
References should be predominantly from recent peer-reviewed sources, not un-validated internet sources or popular magazines or newspapers and not from ten years ago.
Just as in the real world poor presentation loses credibility for your ideas so your grade will include presentation, e.g., correct English and proofreading, as well as content.
Avoid global issues: you have only eight (8) pages maximum to deal with the assignment and the object of the assignment is to demonstrate how you reach a position on a public health issue, not to solve all the problems of health care in one universal approach.
Your paper will be graded based upon the following:
Creativity (analysis, opinions): 40%
Research references, thoroughness: 25%
Organization (structure, systematic and logical presentation): 25%
Mechanics (spelling, syntax): 10%
Referencing of written work
It is essential that you learn to reference all written work accurately and consistently. Students often find this difficult, and do not understand why it is important. We will spend some time in early lectures and tutorials explaining why good referencing is important and helping you to do it.
For undergraduate courses, the Discipline of Public Health uses the Vancouver (numbered) System of referencing. This system uses:
Bracketed references using consecutive numbers in the body of the text, AND
A reference list in numerical order at the end of the assignment.
Examples of in-text referencing
The Vancouver System assigns a number to each reference as it is cited. A number must be used even if the author(s) is named in the sentence/text.
Example: Smith (10) has argued that…
The original number assigned to the reference is reused each time the reference is cited in text, regardless of its previous position in the text.
When multiple references are cited at a given place in the text, use a hyphen to join the first and last numbers that are inclusive. Use commas (without spaces) to separate non-inclusive numbers in a multiple citation.
Example: Recent studies (12,15) have found a high incidence of malaria
Example: Recent studies (20-22) have found a high incidence of malaria
As a rule, reference numbers should be placed outside full stops and commas, inside colons and semicolons.
Example: Smith and Bloggs maintain “that malaria is transmitted from person to person and not mosquito to person”. (1)
Examples for the reference list
Fleming ML, Parker E. 2009. Introduction to public health. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone
Kelly B, Cretikos M, Rogers K, King L. The commercial food landscape: outdoor food averting around primary schools in Australia. Aust N Z J Public Health 2008;32:522-528.
REPORTS (HARD COPY)
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Young Australians: Their health and wellbeing. Canberra: AIHW; 2007. AIHW cat.no. PHE 87.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Young Australians: Their health and wellbeing. 2007. [cited 21 January 2009]; Available from:
James C., Help out of reach for 7000. The Advertiser 2002 Dec 23;1
Further examples of Vancouver referencing can be viewed at http://www.library.uq.edu.au/training/citation/vancouv.pdf (accessed 12/11/13)
SubmissionStatement of Acknowledgement of Original Work
By submitting any assignment in this course you are agreeing to the following:
I declare that all material in this assessment is my own work except where there is clear acknowledgement and reference to the work of others. I have read the Academic Honesty and Assessment Obligations for Coursework Students Policy http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/230/.
I give permission for my assessment work to be reproduced and submitted to other academic staff for the purposes of assessment and to be copied, submitted and retained in a form suitable for electronic checking of plagiarism.
You should be aware that your assessment work may be submitted for electronic checking of plagiarism.
Electronic Submission of Assignments
All students must submit the assignment electronically, through TURNITIN unless otherwise specified by the module coordinator.
You should ensure that you keep a copy of each assignment just in case it gets lost within the system.
No assignment will be accepted by mail or fax without prior written agreement from the relevant module coordinator.
Marked assignments will be returned to students within 4 weeks of completion of the task so that students can take advantage of the feedback
Written feedback will be provided on the marked assignments. Assignments can be collected from the Discipline of Public Health front office on the return date
It is not possible to resubmit, redeem or substitute work once assignments have been submitted
All extensions for assignments must be requested, at the latest, by the last working day before the due date of submission.
Extensions will generally be granted only on medical or genuine compassionate grounds.
Late requests for extension will neither be accepted nor acknowledged.
Only the course coordinator may grant extensions.
Documentary supporting evidence such as a medical certificate or a police report (in the case of lost computers, car & household theft etc) will be required when requesting an extension.
Marks will be deducted when assignments for which no extension has been granted are handed in late. The procedure is as follows:
All assignments, including those handed in late, will be assessed on their merits. In the case of late assignments, marks will then be deducted from the mark awarded, at the rate of 5 percentage points of the total possible per day. This policy will apply to assignments submitted after the period of automatic extension described above. e.g. If an assignment which is 2 days late is awarded 65% on its merits, the mark will then be reduced by 10 (5 marks per day for 2 days) to 55%. If that same assignment is 4 days late its mark will be reduced by 20 (5 marks per day for 4 days) to 45% etc.
The Discipline reserves the right to refuse to accept an assignment that is more than 7 days late.
Assignments submitted after the due date may not be graded in time to be returned on the listed return dates.
Students submitting examinable written work who request (and receive) an extension that takes them beyond the examination period are advised that there is no guarantee that their grades will be processed in time to meet usual University deadlines
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.The following assessment standards used within the Discipline of Public Health will be used to mark assignments. Assignments near the margins (for example, 63% or 76%) will have some of the characteristics of those in the adjoining categories.
High Distinction (85%+) work maintains a level of excellence throughout, and shows ability to interpret data and originality in realising assessment criteria
Distinction (75-84%) work realises assessment criteria fully and completely, shows overall excellence, and demonstrates some originality and creativity.
Credit (65-74%) work realises assessment criteria adequately, demonstrates overall competence, but contains a few, relatively minor, errors or flaws. A credit paper may show great interpretative ability and originality, but those qualities don’t make up for poor or careless writing. A credit paper often looks and reads like a next-to-final draft.
Pass (50-64%) work fails to realise a few elements of assessment criteria and contains a few, relatively serious, errors or flaws, or many minor ones. A pass paper often looks and reads like a first or second draft.
Fail (<50%) work fails to realise several elements of assessment criteria adequately, and contains many serious errors or flaws, and usually many minor ones as well. A fail paper usually looks and reads like a first draft.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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