Tulane University

Date: November 1, 2010

Department of Health Services Administration, College of Public Health, Student, Chin-Hao Wu
Editor, General Education Center, Chiara Benham

I attended the class instructed by Dr. Ted Chen called, “Social and Behavior Aspects of Global Health” at Tulane University during July, 2010.
This course covered the behavioral, social, and cultural aspects of health and disease in both developed and developing countries. Students learned how behavioral and social theories are relevant to health promotion and disease prevention efforts. Factors that protect or erode health operate at multiple levels (including individual, community, societal, and global levels) was discussed. How interventions are developed to improve health by addressing critical factors was presented during the class.

Learning objectives of this course were as follows
: To apply a social ecological framework to identify how individuals, communities, and population health is affected by factors at multiple levels, including individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, societal, global levels. To examine and critique important theoretical frameworks for understanding social and behavioral interventions, such as Health Belief Model, Transtheoretical Model, Diffusion of Innovations, health communication theory, Empowerment Theory, and the social ecological model. To analyze specific public health strategies based on the factors and the theories listed above and to discuss the importance of effective communication in health promotion interventions that address social and behavioral aspects of global health. The objectives focused on identify the importance of cultural competence in working with diverse communities to effect change in social and behavioral factors related to the health of the individual and communities、to explain how social and behavioral sciences are important to public health domestically and abroad, and to complement the approaches used in major public health disciplines.

The class was divided into multi-disciplinary study groups with 6 people in each group. The groups were responsible for designing a major multi-disciplinary health promotion program in a large population setting. The project team made oral presentations on their research results to the class. The group presentations covered elements of (1) program objectives, (2) needs assessment, (3) risk factors assessment, (4) intervention strategies, and (5) an evaluation plan. Each group had 20-30 minutes to present their results.

There were five members in my group. We all came from four different countries;
Pakistan, China, America and Taiwan. Our group project was Physical Activity Promotion Program in New Orleans Charter Schools.”  This was a challenge for me. I have never had language problems before, but they spoke so fast that I couldn’t keep up with their conversation. I felt frustrated. However, I didn’t give up. I encouraged myself to speak even in if I made mistakes. The result was that I learned more English and I was able to enjoy the groups.

I would like to thank everyone who helped me in New Orleans. This was my first trip to America and I know it won’t be the last.

(Chinese Version.)


Photo with Professor Ted Chen
Photo in front of Health Sciences Center