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Reader T.W.,Institute of Social Psychology | Oconnor P.,National University of Ireland
Journal of Risk Research | Year: 2014

The explosion and destruction of the Deepwater Horizon (DH) was a watershed moment for safety management in the US oil and gas industry. The 2011 National Oil Spill Commission investigation identified a range of operational behaviours and underlying safety management problems that were causal to the mishap. Yet, to date these have not been systematically considered within a human factors framework. To achieve this, we draw upon two applied psychology domains that are highly influential within safety research. First, we apply non-technical skills (NTS) (social and cognitive skills that underpin safe performance in complex work environments) theorem to understand operational activities in the lead-up and occurrence of the well blowout. NTS research is used to develop interventions for training and observing safety behaviours (e.g. decision-making, teamwork). Second, we apply safety culture theory to understand how the organisational and industry environment shaped the management of risk. Safety culture research is used to understand and change the socio-technical constraints and enablers of safety activity in high-risk workplaces. Finally, to integrate these perspectives, we take a systems-thinking perspective to understand the mishap. A common critique of accident narratives is their failure to systematically consider how the components of an incident interact together to escalate risk. From a systems-thinking perspective, understanding the interactions leading to the DH mishap is crucial for ensuring interventions are effective in preventing future mishaps. We develop an accident model that captures the various interactions and system factors leading to the blowout. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis. Source


Rifkin S.,Institute of Social Psychology
Globalization and Health | Year: 2010

The year 2008 celebrated 30 years of Primary Health Care (PHC) policy emerging from the Alma Ata Declaration with publication of two key reports, the World Health Report 2008 and the Report of the Commission on the Social Determinants of Health. Both reports reaffirmed the relevance of PHC in terms of its vision and values in today's world. However, important challenges in terms of defining PHC, equity and empowerment need to be addressed. This article takes the form of a commentary reviewing developments in the last 30 years and discusses the future of this policy. Three challenges are put forward for discussion (i) the challenge of moving away from a narrow technical bio-medical paradigm of health to a broader social determinants approach and the need to differentiate primary care from primary health care; (ii) The challenge of tackling the equity implications of the market oriented reforms and ensuring that the role of the State in the provision of welfare services is not further weakened; and (iii) the challenge of finding ways to develop local community commitments especially in terms of empowerment. These challenges need to be addressed if PHC is to remain relevant in today's context. The paper concludes that it is not sufficient to revitalize PHC of the Alma Ata Declaration but it must be reframed in light of the above discussion. © 2010 Bhatia and Rifkin; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source


Scott K.,Institute of Social Psychology | Shanker S.,Engineers Without Borders
AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV | Year: 2010

This paper is a contribution to the growing literature on how best to design and support community health worker (CHW) programmes to maximise their positive impact. CHWs are laypeople trained to promote health among their peers. To do so they are commonly tasked with providing basic curative services, promoting the use of existing health services, facilitating cultural mediation between communities and healthcare providers and encouraging critical reflection and dialogue on social health issues. This paper presents a case study of a CHW project in rural Uttarakhand, north India, called the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) programme. While the ASHA programme is not specifically targeting HIV/AIDS, CHW programmes have been flagged as a key means of addressing health resource shortages in poor countries, especially in relation to HIV/AIDS. This study of the ASHA programme provides insights into how best to support CHW programmes in general, including those focused on HIV/AIDS. The research involved 25 interviews and five focus groups with ASHAs, health professionals and community members as well as over 100 hours of non-participant observation at public health centres. The research investigated contextual features of the programme that are hindering the ASHAs' capacity to increase quantitative health outcomes and act as cultural mediators and agents of social change. Research found that ASHAs were institutionally limited by: (1) the outcome-based remuneration structure; (2) poor institutional support; (3) the rigid hierarchical structure of the health system; and (4) a dearth of participation at the community level. The conclusion suggests that progressive policy on CHW programmes must be backed up by concrete institutional support structures to enable CHWs to fulfil their role. © 2010 Taylor and Francis. Source


Campbell C.,Institute of Social Psychology | Cornish F.,Glasgow Caledonian University
AIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV | Year: 2010

Many biomedical and behavioural HIV/AIDS programmes aimed at prevention, care and treatment have disappointing outcomes because of a lack of effective community mobilisation. But community mobilisation is notoriously difficult to bring about. We present a conceptual framework that maps out those dimensions of social context that are likely to support or undermine community mobilisation efforts, proposing that attention should be given to three dimensions of social context: the material, symbolic and relational. This paper has four parts. We begin by outlining why community mobilisation is regarded as a core dimension of effective HIV/AIDS management: it increases the reach and sustainability of programmes; it is a vital component of the wider task shifting agenda given the scarcity of health professionals in many HIV/AIDS-vulnerable contexts. Most importantly it facilitates those social psychological processes that we argue are vital preconditions for effective prevention, care and treatment. Secondly we map out three generations of approaches to behaviour change within the HIV/AIDS field: HIV-awareness, peer education and community mobilisation. We critically evaluate each approach's underlying assumptions about the drivers of behaviour change, to frame our understandings of the pathways between mobilisation and health, drawing on the concepts of social capital, dialogue and empowerment. Thirdly we refer to two well-documented case studies of community mobilisation in India and South Africa to illustrate our claim that community mobilisation is unlikely to succeed in the absence of supportive material, symbolic and relational contexts. Fourthly we provide a brief overview of how the papers in this special issue help us flesh out our conceptualisation of the health enabling social environment. We conclude by arguing for the urgent need for a 'fourth generation' of approaches in the theory and practice of HIV/AIDS management, one which pays far greater attention to the wider contextual influences on programme success. © 2010 Taylor and Francis. Source


As in many other parts of the world, young people in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are considered particularly vulnerable to HIV infection. Young Papua New Guineans' understanding of health and HIV form the basis of their interactions with HIV-prevention programmes, yet literature documenting their views is limited. Participatory research was conducted with 31 youth in two different settings in the Highlands of PNG to analyse their perceptions of factors influencing young people's health in a local context. The participants perceived social and structural factors to have a dominant influence on their health outcomes, in contrast to prevention programmes' focus on individuals. Youth perceived HIV to be less pressing than other everyday health concerns not currently addressed by national programmes, with their resultant frustration undermining the potential of existing HIV-prevention interventions. The young participants' experience of the social spaces developed through Photovoice, the research approach used, demonstrates the potential and limitations of participatory initiatives to support young people's actions to reduce their vulnerability to poor health outcomes. Findings point to the importance of youth-focused intervention programmes engaging influential adults in a community, and supporting in-between spaces where young people and community leaders can connect in order to affect the health-related contexts in which young people live. © 2010 Taylor and Francis. Source

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