Unit 8: Psychological Perspectives for Health and Social Care - P2, P3, M2 and D1

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Unit 8: Assignment 2

 P2 and P3

  1. Behaviourist approach

The behaviourist approach can be very useful in health and social care, as this approach explains clearly about learned behaviours. Through this approach health professionals could look at and identify particular behaviour using the concept of associating (classical conditioning) or reinforcement or punishment (operant conditioning).

In health and social care, systematic desensitization is used as a health aversion therapy for service users who are finding everyday aspect of their life impossible to cope with.  For example a service user who has a phobia of going out may isolate and feel depressed and may not leave their house at all.

In this case, health professionals could apply principles of classical conditioning in everyday life in a practical way. The most common method to change behaviour of phobia is by using the systematic desensitization. This method first involves creating a ‘hierarchy of fear’, a health professional may come up with list of aspects that is associated with fear the service user has.

This classical conditioning procedure is there to help to achieve a state of relaxation for the service user. This is to help to replace the fear and anxiety of state to calm and relaxation. They could do this by showing least feared situation or object to the service user and they are encouraged to relax after they feel alright and not fear it anymore, the health professional will move on to the next level.

This procedure is repeated over a period of time until the service user could face the final most feared object and situation without any worry and anxiety. The principle of classical conditioning also used as a treatment for service users who are struggling with alcoholism.

The way it is done is that service user will be given a drug which, when it is mixed with alcohol, it will lead them to have really unpleasant physiological effect such as vomiting and nausea. This will make the service user to associate alcohol with the aversion, therefore to help them to stop drinking alcohol because they had unpleasant experience.

Operant conditioning is also used in health and social care and health visitors or health professional who gives parental advice may use principles of operant conditioning through reward and punishment.

For example, super nanny use reward and punishment as way to help children behave in good and obedient way to their parents.

(M, 2010, pp. 354, 355)

  1. Social learning theory

Social learning theory can be used in health and social care to promote anti-discriminatory behaviours and practices. This could be done through the use of positive role models within the health education campaigns.

Some people can learn new behaviours by observing other people; this could be done through imitating the behaviour. For example, the late Princess Diane is someone of a high status, prestigious and has attractive characteristics. She broke the big taboo of AIDS and HIV by shacking hand with a patient who has that illness. She also helped to remove misunderstanding and prejudice about the illness. As some people had misunderstanding that AIDS and HIV can be transmitted by touch.

(M, 2010, pp. 355, 356)

This shows that how important role model as they have a powerful part in influencing other people’s behaviour especially when tackling discrimination in health and social care.

There are many celebrities that promote health campaigns and they are used as a role model. The reason for this is that the public may notice more if famous celebrities are used to promote it.

Example of this is that NHS has used Alesha Dixon to promote health ad for contraception. This is done by her posing in a bath full of condoms and this is promoting people to use contraception more when having an intercourse.

However, it can cost a lot of money to use celebrities for health campaigns for example, according to Dailymail, NHS has spent £90,000 for celebrities to front public health ad campaigns.

The reason why the NHS spend that amount of money asking celebrities to do health campaigns could be because the public may pay attention to the health campaigns more likely to imitate and change their behaviour by taking more care for their health.

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  1. Psychodynamic approach

Psychodynamic approach in relation to health and social care is to help health professionals to understanding challenging behaviours of the service users.

The basic theory of psychodynamic approach is that people’s behaviours are sometimes driven by their unconscious forces. (M, 2010, p. 356)

This means that it is important that health professionals try to recognise that sometimes they would not be able to understand certain behaviours using question and answer techniques, as some service users may not be aware of what is troubling them. (M, 2010, p. 356)

Therefore it is important that health professionals ...

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