Book Report: Normative and Felt Needs Assessment

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Normative and Felt Needs Assessment

Normative and Felt Need Assessment

Over the last several years, the issue of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) has been continually brought to the forefront. This is because an increasing number of minorities have been affected by this condition, in comparison with other population groups. In Australia, this has been having a dramatic effect upon Aborigines, who are 10 to 30% more likely to suffer from this condition than the rest of the population. (Summary 2010) As a result, growing concern is taking place among health officials, who are worried that the number of people suffering from the condition could increase. Especially when you consider the fact that six out of every 10 Aborigines are considered to be obese. To determine the overall scope of the problem: a needs assessment and felt assessment must be conducted. Where, both will concentrate on the Aborigine men and women, between the ages of 25 to 64 years old, living in Onkaparina. Once these two different examinations are complete, it will provide more insights into the overall scope of the problem.

Normative Needs Assessment

Relevant Health Data

Type 2 Diabetes is when the body is unable to break down blood sugar. Most people that develop the disease need to take insulin to control these levels (at some point). As the pancreas will turn food that is digested, into sugar instead of energy (which increases these levels). This is different from a normal person, where the pancreas will turn the food that is digested into energy. The major causes of the diseases would include: obesity, a lack of physical exercise, genetics, diet, poor standards of living and reduced access to medical care. As most people who suffer from the condition are not eating the proper amounts of: fruits and vegetables as part of their dietary needs. Where, this will help contribute to onset of the different symptoms, as the body is continuing to receive excessive amounts of sugar and fat. Over the course of time, this will cause the pancreas to become more inefficient at turning these foods into energy, which will cause blood sugar levels and the weight of the individual to increase. The various symptoms of diabetics would include: fatigue, frequent urination, blurry vision, increased hunger / thirst and erectile dysfunction. If the condition is not treated through insulin shots or medication, a number of complications could develop to include: glaucoma, heart disease, kidney disease, paralysis and possibly death. (Diabetes 2010) (Summary 2010) This is significant, because it provide a basic foundation as to what are the symptoms of the disease. In general, the overall diabetes rates for Australian are 3.5% of the population. (Diabetes 2010) Yet, when you look beyond the general statistics, it is clear that the number of case will rise dramatically when you look at Aborigines. This is because this sub-group of the population is suffering from one of the many different risk factors that were mentioned above. Evidence of this can be seen with a report conducted by the Institute of Health and Welfare, which found that 57% of Aborigines age 15 and over are considered to be obese. (Diabetes 2008) This is important, because with such a large portion of this sub-group suffering from this condition, it means that vast disparities could be occurring in the underlying health of Australians. In the areas of health care expenditures, the contrast between Australian society and Aborigines is obvious, with most of society spending less than 2% of their expenditures on health care services. While, Aborigines spend 17% or more of their income on health care services. At the same time, most of Australian society is more inclined to seek preventive health care services such as: physicals. Where, 85% of the population has visited their doctors at least once a year. This has caused the most common forms of death for males to be heart disease, while females have the highest mortality rates for breast cancer. When you compare this with Aborigines, they have the highest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the world. (Australia's Health 2008) This is important, because it shows how some kind of disparity is occurring in Australian society, with the health of most Australians improving. Yet, the health of Aborigines is becoming worse.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Aborigines account for between: 418, 800 to 476,900 people living in the commonwealth. (Aboriginal Health 2010) This makes up .5% of the total population. Out of this number, the total amount of diabetics is: estimated to be between 41,880 to 143,070 people. The reason why this is occurring is because the lower income levels of this segment of the population, is causing their dietary choices to limited. Where, most people will choose the most affordable alternative. In this case, it more than likely would be some kind of unhealthy snack, as opposed to fruit and vegetables. Evidence of this can be seen by looking no further than the likelihood that indigenous people would eat fruit and vegetables. According to the AIHW, they found that Aborigines were 7 times less likely to eat vegetables and likely to eat fruits (in comparison with the rest of the population). At the same time, most indigenous people live in rural areas and are further away from various health care facilities. (Diabetes 2008)

This is significant, because it is highlighting how a whole host of social / economic issues could be contributing to the problem of high T2DM. Where, the different issues such as: poverty and a lack of affordable access to quality health care services are helping to contribute to the problem. With, poverty limiting the overall choices that many people will have as far as nutritional foods are concerned. Meaning, that because so many are living at or near poverty line, they cannot be picky about what kinds of foods they want to eat. Instead, they must eat those foods that are most affordable or not eat at all. Then, when you combine this with the lack of health care services in many rural areas, means that a number of Aborigines are unaware of various dietary needs. This causes most people not to be educated about various aspect of nutrition. At which point, they do not know what are the proper levels of nutrition, which helps make the problem worse. At the same time, this lack of access to health care in many rural areas; means that preventive medicine is not being practiced. This is when you are routinely screening for a variety of health conditions. Given the fact that health care services are more difficult to find in these areas and many are coming from a lower economic background. The chances increase dramatically that large segments of Aborigines would more than likely be: overweight and engage in a lack of physical activity. In many ways one could argue, that the lack of access to preventive health care services is causing, the underlying levels of health to decline. As the limited visits with health care professionals, will mean that the chances to: diagnose and treat conditions early decrease. Once this condition begins to become worse, is when the underlying levels of health in the individual will begin to decline. This will cause the overall amount of spending on health care services to increase and it will place an added strain on the local economy. As a result, one could take the information that was discussed earlier on health care expenditures and theorize; that the lack of health care services in rural areas is causing an increase in diabetes cases. This will cause the costs in treating the conditions to be more expensive. These two elements are two of the main causes of: diabetes and can directly be tied to the obesity epidemic in Aborigines. Where, the lower social / economic class and the lack of access to affordable health care services; have caused the common symptoms of the disease to appear in a variety of individuals.

What all of this shows, is that on a national level, the overall cases of diabetes are becoming more severe in Aborigines. Part of the reason for this is because the social / economic conditions that they endure are contributing to the problem. Where, the lack of health care services in many areas and the underlying levels of poverty are making the situation worse. As these two issues, are causing the overall levels in obesity to increase from the lack of proper diet, exercise and the inability to receive preventive health care. When you put all of these different elements together; this highlight why the underlying obesity problem, is so severe in the Aboriginal sub-culture, as opposed to the rest of Australian society. This means that the government should aggressively target the most at risk individuals, within this population demographic. Where, they should focus on eating fruits / vegetables and receiving the proper amount of exercise. Otherwise, the vast disparities between the Aborigines and the rest… [END OF PREVIEW]

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