Holistic self-management education and support: a proposed public health model for improving women's health in Zimbabwe.

Department of Preventive and Societal Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, 68124, USA.
Health Care For Women International (Impact Factor: 0.63). 09/2006; 27(7):627-45. DOI: 10.1080/07399330600803774
Source: PubMed


The primary health care model of public health has been implemented in many countries around the globe since the Declaration of Alma Ata in 1978, without pilot testing the primary health care model. Therefore, many public health researchers have sought methods of improving primary health care by creating evidence-based models. Many of these researchers recognize the role of behavioral models in public health. These offshoots of primary health care include the ecological, care, central human capabilities, and the SPECIES models. Holistic self-management education and support is a capacity-building philosophy that ensures active involvement of consumers of health care in the planning and implementation and evaluation of health care services. It helps consumers of health care to achieve the desired improved quality of health and life in managing and sustaining their health at the grassroots level. The care model addresses disease management ideals of the in the original primary health care model. The SPECIES model addresses those aspects of the primary health care model that include the cultural and social factors, as well as individual health education and support in the original primary health care model. The ecological model offers an improvement of the socioeconomic ideal in the original primary health care model. Improving the health of individuals will prevent illness, thereby reducing health care costs and lessening the current strain on an overburdened health care system in Zimbabwe. Holistic self-management education and support links health care delivery systems with social processes. It is a best practices model that could better serve Zimbabwean girls and women by contributing positively to the national challenges in health care, thereby meeting the Zimbabwean primary health care and safe motherhood goals. It is here recommended that holistic self-management education and support must be pilot tested before being adopted as the most appropriate model for ensuring population health.

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