Environmental and behavioural diagnosis
Environmental diagnosis is a parallel analysis of factors in the social and physical environment that could be linked to health problems.
Behavioural diagnosis is the analysis of behavioural links to the health problems that are identified in the epidemiological or social diagnosis.
This phase focuses on the systematic identification of health practices or behaviours which cause health problems in your community. If you take the example of HIV/AIDS, once you reach this stage your focus will be to examine why people in your community are highly affected by HIV/AIDS. Is it because of their behaviours — or is it due to other environmental factors such as lack of HIV prevention and counselling services? At this stage you need to be able to identify the factors — and as in many societies the most important factor responsible for higher level of HIV/AIDS in your community may be high-risk sexual behaviours.
Read again the list of different diagnoses that precede and underpin preventive heath education work. Of these various processes which one do you think you are most likely to need to consult with other health colleagues over?
As a health worker you are likely to undertake social diagnosis, behavioural diagnosis and education diagnosis yourself. You will also collect some statistical data yourself, from your own community. But you are likely to depend at least as much if not more on statistics from other colleagues. The reason for this is that epidemiological data has to be collected from large numbers of people in order to be able to see trends, and looking at a small sample from your community may not enable to you understand what happens at the level of a whole population.