Introducing public health
Introducing public health

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Introducing public health

Introducing public health


This free course, Introducing public health, uses several activities to introduce two important public health issues: factors that influence health and ill-health; and the scope of public health work.

  • Factors influencing health, or the ‘wider determinants of health and ill-health’ as they are often called, are complex and contested. Family circumstances, poverty, education, work, housing and environment all impact on our health to some extent.
  • Public health has become ‘everybody’s business’ and is undertaken by a wide range of people, not just in the health sector but in other sectors too. It is both ‘multi-professional’ – involving professionals such as police, teachers, housing officers as well as health workers – and ‘inter-sectoral’ – involving different government departments, local government, the voluntary sector, private sector and so on.

Consider how to use your study of this course, for example by recording your ideas in the word document [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   provided. In addition, you can note your ideas in a notebook or in an electronic journal. If you are a public health practitioner you may wish to use your work to help build portfolio evidence of your public health knowledge and skills. If you enjoy this course you can also study other OpenLearn courses on public health:

Level 1: Public health approaches to infectious disease

Level 2: Public health and mental health promotion

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course K311 Promoting public health: skills, perspectives and practice.


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