PSY 663 Public Policy and Healthcare Example Essay

PSY 663 Public Policy and Healthcare Example Essay

PSY 663 Public Policy and Healthcare Example Essay

Trauma is a Public Health Issue

The researchers of this article present evidence for trauma as a public health issue, by emphasizing on the characteristics which operates on different levels of influence, individual, community, and the society at large (Magruder, McLaughlin, & Elmore Borbon, 2017). One of the reason why I picked this article is because it emphasizes on the different ways in which trauma affect the lives of people, and the role of psychologists and public policy in intervention, prevention, as well as supporting communities. Report from population based data which was retrieved from various nations, shows that so many grown-ups will go through a traumatic event at some point in their lives, notwithstanding the disparities in the occurrence of certain types of traumatic events (Magruder, et., al. 2017). Around the world, exposure to trauma is also common in children and youths. A considerable number of children around the world, are exposed to trauma which is mostly as a result of conflicts, which can lead to displacement, homelessness, hunger, and some children are even kidnapped and raped (Magruder, et., al. 2017). Exposure to traumatic events in children and youths are particularly detrimental to their development in cognitive, emotional, and social domain, which can result in adverse educational and mental health outcomes (Magruder, et., al. 2017). Intervention, prevention, and treatment of trauma is usually different based on the type of trauma which an individual or the community may be experiencing, as trauma can result from, sexual abuse, conflicts, war, and various kinds of natural disaster that can lead to displacement of individuals. For this reason, public policy makers, psychologists, clinicians and various other associations, are working together to implement health trauma policies. This article emphasizes on few traumatic events, such as sexual abuse, natural disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Role of Public Policy on Trauma

Traumatic events barely occur at random, it is usually influenced by factors such as, individual characteristics, relationship between peers, community characteristics, and socio-political factors (Magruder, et., al. 2017). Public policy role is to effectively implement policies which will shape societal standards concerning public health issues. In the case of traumatic events, multi-level approaches, such as environmental factors, which plays the role of shaping potential trauma exposure and outcome, is used in providing a public health framework for developing an array of policies for preventing trauma (Magruder, et., al. 2017). The prevention framework includes three levels such as, the primary, secondary and tertiary prevention method, which is implemented at different system level, including the individual, the family, the community, and the society at large (Magruder, et., al. 2017). Public policy makers have developed programs such as alcohol education for youths (In schools), bullying prevention, neighborhood watch program, as well as lighting up parking lots, campuses and the streets in order to prevent crime (Magruder, et., al. 2017). The alcohol education program for youths can lessen high-risk drinking, which can lessen an individual’s exposure to traumatic events such as physical and sexual assaults, accidents, or motor vehicle accidents. Public policy makers have also developed early intervention programs in schools, and hospitals, and this programs are aimed at encouraging good society norms regarding various traumatic events.

Additional Ways Public Policy could Address Trauma

Policy makers need to have an adequate understanding of the psychological problems faced by an individual who is traumatized, and how families are able to manage the situation, as this would be helpful in developing strategies for tertiary prevention. According to this article, mental health issue can occur as a result of trauma, and mental health issue has largely been ignored in global public health agenda, much work still remain ahead to understand the nature and treatment (Magruder, et., al. 2017). Tertiary prevention method will soften the impact of an ongoing trauma experience, so that it does lead to chronic health impairment such as mental illness. Therefore public policy also needs to focus more on researching the psychological problems faced by an individual who is going through traumatic events.

The Role of Health Psychologists

Psychologists work with public policy by advocating for people who have experienced traumatic events. Psychologists provide trainings to those who work with individuals who suffer from trauma. Psychologists add to public policy’s three levels of preventions, which is the primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention, by encouraging prevention of exposure to trauma, and trauma-related sequelae, as well as counselling individuals and communities about post-traumatic stress disorder (Magruder, et., al. 2017). Psychologist understand behavior and health, therefore, will better understand the psychological problems faced by people who are suffering from trauma, and provide appropriate counselling.


End-of Life Care Issues: A Personal, Economic, Public Policy, and Public Health Crisis

There are many individuals who do not want to be put on machines, and may want the choice to end their lives with dignity and on their terms. This article addresses the right to choose to end your life and the policy involved with changing the laws. End-of-life care is a personal worth, economic, and public policy which also include advance directive documents, especially for people who are diagnosed with chronic or terminal illnesses (Mothaim, et, al., 2013).  Public policy is having to become involved when it comes to the advance directives that help individuals manage decision making during their medical crisis and end-of-life care. Aside from the advance directive from a personal value, this article also focuses on public policy and the economic factors.

The Role of Public Policy on End-of-Life-Care Issues

Public policy was used in developing the advance directives for individuals to end their lives without intrusion from family members, and or clinicians. The debate regarding healthcare reform, and economy cost, public policy says that there are possibilities that the completion of an advance directive will lessen the health care costs (Mothaim and Pollack, 2013).  The role of public policy can be seen in various aspects when it comes to end-of-life directives, as public policy insists that all patients who are receiving health care must complete an advance directive, this can be viewed as either looking for ways to cut health care costs in an economic standpoint, or giving the individual the power to manage decision making during health crisis.

Additional Ways Public Policy can Manage End-of-Life-Care Issues

There should be additional trainings for individuals and families, this so that individuals and families would be able to make appropriate decisions regarding end of life health issues. There are various religious and cultural beliefs that may be against advance directive to end life. For this reason, public policy administrators also need to involve health psychologist to help counsel individuals and families of people with terminal health issues, regarding the meaning of advance directive for their love ones.

The Role of the Health Psychologist in End-of-Life Crisis

When the advance directive is in the stage of explaining the pros and cons, the health psychologist can educate patients and families of patients, by discussing the importance of routine wellness visits, and who is in the best position to help the individual make the decision of drawing up an advance directive. Health psychologists can also hold workshops in the community, where they can provide important information regarding end of life crisis, and the health care costs. Health psychologists can counsel individuals, families, and communities on the complex issues involving personal, spiritual, and cultural values combined with family dynamics and health care economics (Mothaim and Pollack, 2013).


Magruder, K. M., McLaughlin, K. A., & Elmore Borbon, D. L. (2017). Trauma is a public health

issue. Eur J Psychotraumatol, 8(1), 13755338. Retrieved from

Mothaim, D., & Pollack, K., (2013). End-of-Life care issues: a personal, economic, public

policy, and public health crisis. The American Journal of Public Health, June 2013, 103(6), 10. Retrieved from

Public Policy Article Review

Psychologist have a huge impact on public policy through their research that is constantly looing to improve the health and education for communities. When improvements need to be addressed to federal or state officials who make public policy they want to see solid research showing what a community needs, why they need, what impacts it has, and how beneficial it will be for communities. Public policy makers and psychology work so closely together in wanting to improve legislation laws through continued research. Psychologist conducting research on health and education, controlling tobacco policies, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (Snap-Ed) Program, and the Head Start program, as these are vital programs that establish the advocate relationship between psychologist and public policy makers.

Controlling Tobacco Policies

Substance abuse of tobacco is one of the leading causes of many cancers and respiratory health problems, including second-hand smoke exposure has deadly effects that can be prevented. There are 1.1 thousand million smokers in the world, about one-third of the global population aged 15 and over, has caused 90% of lung cancer in men, 70% of lung cancer in women, 50-80% for chronic respiratory disease, and 22% for cardiovascular disease (WHO, 2018).

The Netherlands have been researching tobacco use for years and have created public polices to control smoking and the use of tobacco but have yet to see changes form the policy in tobacco substance abuse. Performing a national quasi-experimental study to uncover the effects of smoke-free legislation in the workplace, tobacco tax increase, and mass media campaigns, on perinatal health (Peelen, Sheikh., Kor, Hajenius., Zimmerman., Kramer, Hukkelhoven., Reiss, Moi, & Been, 2016). It is through the use of Netherland Perinatal Registry, perinatal health includes mortality, premature birth, and small-for-gestational age (SAG) the information has been made available (Peelan, et., al., 2016). With the Netherland public policy on tobacco abuse put into place they have used the data collected for interrupting the time series logic, measuring the outcome of the timing of the public policy, and the regression analyses as they may have to adjust the public policy. According to Peelen et, al, (2016), the prenatal health policy data that has been gathered is made up of a population size of 2,069,695 single births, and their country of birth origin, in which the statistical analysis showed that the 2004 public policies did not show any significant impact on the outcomes, however, in 2008 when the Netherlands changed the prenatal health policy, the included the tobacco band policy to the hospitality industry and instituted a higher tobacco tax, that showed a significant decrease in the odds of SGA births and the premature birth rates.

There are limitations to the study of the Netherlands public policy as it has the inability to perform a randomized controlled trial because it was classified as a governmental public health intervention (Evans, Ranjit, Hoelscher, Jovanovic, Lopez, Mcintosh, & Warren, 2016, PSY 663 Public Policy and Healthcare Example Essay). The researchers using the quasi-experimental study shows their bias in evaluating the how the policy is impacting the population, they also targeted and limited the study by only looking at the prenatal health issues coinciding with the tobacco public policies. The Netherlands creating a public policy of smoke-free policies and how they justify it with the decreasing prenatal health issues actually lead to larger health concern especially the correlation the researchers presented in the study and the basis of the hypothesis.

Head Start Program

Head start was established as a program to provide social, health-related, and educational services to over 30 million children by President Lyndon Johnson when he was in office during the mid-1960’s (McCoy, Morris, Connors, Gomez, & Yoshikawa, 2016). The Head Start program has found it is important to start children at an early age to prepare for school and work with children who have learning difficulties such a speech therapy, occupational therapy, behavior, cognitive, and testing for developmental disabilities (Canino, & Kestenbaum, 2016). This is just one of many reasons the Head Start program needs to continue receiving government funding as an important program for early children’s learning development.

Maintaining this program as well as continuously improving it is important to low-income families who depend on the resources of Head Start to assist them in many areas. There is mixed reviews regarding the Head Start program and it’s overall efficiency as the research conducted decades ago gave concerns on various programs proved to have negative and positive areas that need improvement, some of these areas are from the policies and their relationship to the education of teachers and the community setting (Canino & Kestenbaum, 2016). Recent research studies conducted have proven analytical data of Head Start’s programs how they change the lives of low-income families, in urban communities, reaching out to form partnerships with other federal and state entities working with the development of children in their early stages of development. Data was used form the Head Start Impact study to consider the program’s variations in impact on different center locations, specifically urban or rural communities (McCoy, et., al., 2016).

Research completed previously on Head Start shows the quality has led to better academic outcomes for children, but ecological sources of impact variation have yet to be studied (McCoy, et., al., 2016). The children in Head Start programs will need to be observed in how much they are learning in behavior, cognitive thinking, speech therapy, and their overall development especially in rural and urban communities (Arizona Head Start Association, 2018). According to McCoy, et., al., (2016), the population and sample size included 3.503 children from 317 random-assignment sites, with an average age of 4.04 years old. The random choice of the children was derived from racially diverse factors, single parent homes, and the highest grad completed in education. Before any child was eligible to participate an informed consent forms had to signed by parent or guardian giving approval for contact with the Head Start teachers. The children were assignment geocodes and divided into two groups randomly one being the Head Start group and the other was a controlled group. The researchers used the geocodes by linking them to a software program called ArcGIS to measure the geographical influences and account for urban or rural disparities (McCoy, et., al., 2016).  The other developmental issues they were looking for were oral communication, reading, vocabulary, writing, and pre-literary in the children, Researchers were also looking for correlations in the various location for Head Start programs and how these locations influence the children.

The researchers were surprised by the results of their study and the locations which consisted of urban locations were 59%, rural locations were 31% and overall the influence of cultural environments of both urban and rural together was 11% (McCoy, et., al., 2016). In conclusion, Head Start proved they are making effective learning strides when educating children, improving their speech, vocabulary, behavioral, cognitive, and developmental skills, proving their programs are making a difference in children and family lives.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education, (Snap-Ed) Program

More than 1 million adults and children in Arizona do not have enough money for groceries, therefore, this deteriorates their health eating behaviors causing poor weight status and sedentary lifestyles (Kreutz, 2013). The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and the Arizona Nutrition Network have formed a partnership in educational outreach program which educates low-income parents how to use limited resources to buy healthier foods for their families. The lack of fresh fruit and vegetables and having no physical activity for children to eat or exercising will have a negative impact on the children causing behavior issues to develop. Parental behaviors can directly influence a child’s weight gain or maintenance, such as access to health foods at home, social support, physical activity encouragement, or eating meals together (Evans, et, al., 2016).

The SNAP-Ed program’s goal is to educate parents on how to buy healthier foods on a limited budget such as low-fat dairy products, tortillas, fresh in-season fruit, whole—grain breads, and easy recipes on how to cook each, along with promoting daily exercising (Kreutz, 2013). Part of the program also partners with the school districts by having the intervene in encouraging children to make healthy choices for eating at school and be participating in daily exercise to prevent obesity.

A five-year research study was conducted on educating parents about gardening, nutrition, and physical activities within the school setting where twenty-eight schools were randomly chosen and assigned to four different groups. The four groups are identified as school health, gardening intervention, getting physically fit, and the final group was gardening intervention with physical activities (Kreutz, 2013). The population that was targeted was children in the fourth grade with diverse cultural backgrounds, low-income, single parent homes, and it was a voluntary basis. Obtaining informed consent forms from the parent or guardian for the child who is participating and with the understanding of the data being collected was for a research study. The collection of data was conducted using a numbering system through anonymous parent surveys, a self-reporting method by the participant hat included the measurement of height and weight, and included teachers and principal surveys (Kreutz, 2013). The research study provided information helpful to the SNAP-Ed program in giving baselines for the children and parents involved in understanding healthy eating and physical exercise go hand-in-hand and created guidelines for the school districts to incorporate better choices of food for the children to eat.

This research study does have its limitations as there could be more affecting a child’s height and weight such as genetic factors, behavior issues, food allergies, and only targeting certain aspects such as low-income and single parent homes. Nutrition, healthy eating and daily exercise can be beneficial for everyone at any age and income by providing education on proper nutrition starts at birth and continues well into adulthood. Possible another research study needs to be conducted including more individuals from various backgrounds and households. PSY 663 Public Policy and Healthcare Example Essay.

Public Policy Changes

The article I chose to discuss gave examples of public policy in action based on research studies conducted to see how communities are impacted. The change of public policy when tobacco is affecting so many individuals globally, the research study the Netherlands conducted show evidence of the improvements and benefits after initializing their public policy and continue to make changes. The Head Start program had a research conducted reviewing how effective their program is for rural and urban communities based on decades ago to current years and how public policy made positive changes in children’s learning. The Snap-Ed program shows by implementing public policy and educating individuals on eating healthier and included daily exercise can make a difference in their lives for a healthier living. It gave positive results to teaching individuals about gardening, healthy food choices, and things they can enjoy doing by incorporating exercises when outdoors.

Future Research

There may need to be additional research studies conducted to continue to maintain the funding provided by the government. With further research they can improved public policy by providing more current data to the stakeholders such as state and federal agencies to obtain more funding. The tobacco control policies put into place by the Netherlands legislation can create a partnership with psychologist and having them be part of the advocates in speaking out about tobacco health issues to create more public policies that will make all businesses smoke free.

Head Start could benefit because additional research can show public policy administrators and psychologists in the community they are not a one-track mind when it comes to providing resources to many families who are in need. This is especially true for the rural and urban environments.

 The Snap-Ed programs can improve their impact on the public by creating the partnership between the community psychologist and public policy makers to educate parents and children about the importance of exercise and health eating.

Each of these will depend on education and health reform to meet each of their needs and future research studies to show the impact they are having in communities to meet the community’s needs. 


Arizona Head Start, Association, (2018). Head Start and Early Head Start Programs,

Canino, I., & Kestenbaum, C., (2016). Caring at Columbia Head Start: Promoting Resilience Through Creative Art and Play and a Prevention Model for At-Rick Preschool Children and Families. Journal of the American Academy of Childe & Adolescent Psychiatry, October 2016, Volume 55, Issue 10, pp. 25-27, doi: 10.1016/jaac.2016.07.096,

Evans, A., Ranjit, N., Hoelscher, D., Jovanovic, C., Lopez, M., Mcintosh, A., & Warren, J. (2016). Impact of school-based vegetable garden and physical activity coordinated health interventions on weight status and weight-related behaviors of ethnically diverse, low-0income students., BMC Public Health, March 2016,


Kreutz, D., (2013). Helping Low-Income Families Eat Healthier, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences University of Arizona News, July 1, 2013,

McCoy, D. C., Morris, P. A., Connors, M. C., Gomez, C. J., & Yoshikawa, H. (2016). Differential effectiveness of Head Start in urban and rural communities. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, March 2016, Volume 43, pp 29-42.

doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2015.12.007,

Peelen, M.J., Sheikh, A., Kor, M., Hajenius, P., Zimmerman, L., Kramer, B., Hukkelhoven, C., Reiss, I., Moi, B., & Been, J., (2016). Tobacco control policies and perinatal health: a national quasi-experimental study. Scientific Report, April 2016, Volume 6, Issue 23, doi: 10.1038/srep23907,

World Health Organization (WHO), (2018). Management of substance abuse: Tobacco., World Health Organization, PSY 663 Public Policy and Healthcare Example Essay

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