Social Determinant of Health and Socio-Ecological Model


The Social-Ecological Models can be used as interventions for health disparities. SEM is divided into levels that include individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and policy levels (Patel, Hargreaves, Liu, Kenerson, Neal, Takizala & Blot, 2012). Individual-level interventions focus on enhancing an individual’s awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screening (Patel et al., 2012). This includes, educating the patient on, the significance of screening, the risks involved, and the benefits of screening to his/her well-being. SEMs help in initiating timely treatment for individuals diagnosed with cancer (Patel et al., 2012).

Review the article on colorectal screening and reflect on how various levels in the Socio-Ecological Model (SEM) may serve as an intervention for health disparity

Interpersonal interventions focus on preventive measures implemented at a personal level (Patel et al., 2012). This intervention is based on changing social and behavioral characteristics of individuals hence overcoming personal barriers. The factor that can hinder screening may include logistical issues, awareness, and lack of family support. The organizational level intervention is closely related to the interpersonal intervention. These are preventive measures taken at an organizational level (Patel et al., 2012). Community-level interventions on the other hand are preventive measures extended to the entire community.

Community health organizations, the media, and community advocacy groups can do this can facilitate this type of intervention effectively (Patel et al., 2012). Conducting a public awareness to emphasize the importance of screening can be done successfully through advertisements. Lastly, the policy level intervention is a preventive measure implemented by the state or local federal authorities. The government can formulate policies and laws that promote positive behaviors and facilitate the implementation of screening (Patel et al., 2012).

Explain how you would apply the interpersonal and organizational levels of the Socio-Ecological Model (SEM) for the prevention of colorectal cancer

Applying these interventions, one has to ensure that the information about the process of screening and its importance is available for the public. Through information, individuals can understand the importance of screening and make well-versed decisions. Creating awareness is supreme in this process.

In addition, accessibility of cancer screening services should be a priory in the implementation of these interventions. The application of Organizational Level Intervention can be achieved through implementing several organizational policies. These can be healthcare systems, healthcare departments, as well as healthcare plans for workers in an organization (Patel et al., 2012).

Explain how these levels of the Socio-Ecological Model might contribute to or influence proposed interventions for colorectal cancer

Prevention can be enhanced through early screening of cancer hence reducing its impacts on the population (Scott & Wilson, 2011). However, the most important feature of these interventions is that they are aimed at improving individuals’ behaviors and cultural norms. These changes reduce the chances of individuals’ exposure to cancer hence creating effective preventive measures (Scott & Wilson, 2011).

Government policies can effectively reduce the prevalence of cancer if they are directed to influence changes in cultural and personal behaviors that speed up the occurrence of cancer (Scott & Wilson, 2011). In addition, Organizations can improve the behaviors and lifestyles of their employees and help to fight cancer from the organizational level. Community Help Groups on the other hand can help by reaching out to the youth in the rural areas and creating awareness on the importance of screening.

Give an alternative intervention that applies to the interpersonal and organizational level of the Socio-Ecological Model for the prevention of HIV/AIDS

Alternative interventions that apply to the prevention of HIV/AIDS include behavioral interventions (Mayston, Kinyanda, Chishinga, Prince, & Patel 2012). This includes implementing behavioral practices that can reduce the chances of infection among the community. Such practices include sexual morality based on the awareness of the impacts of reckless sexual behaviors (Mayston et al., 2012). Labeling is also an effective intervention in the prevention of HIV/AIDS (Mayston et al., 2012). Awareness of the effects of HIV/AIDS infection can help label the disease as injurious. This can drive the population to avoid behaviors that can lead to infection.


This paper has outlined the strategies used in the five Social Ecological Models of interventions. The paper explains how one can apply interpersonal and organizational interventions to prevent cancer. It also outlines how social-ecological models can contribute to the prevention of cancer. Lastly, the paper gives alternatives of interpersonal and organizational levels of interventions for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.


Mayston, R., Kinyanda, E., Chishinga, N., Prince, M., & Patel, V. (2012). Mental disorder and the outcome of HIV/AIDS in low-income and middle-income countries A systematic review. AIDS, 26(2), 117–S135.

Patel, K., Hargreaves, M., Liu, J., Kenerson, D., Neal, R., Takizala, Z., & Blot, B. (2012). Factors influencing colorectal cancer screening in low-income African Americans in Tennessee. Journal of Community Health, 37(3), 673–679.

Scott, A. J., & Wilson, R. F. (2011). Social determinants of health among African Americans in a rural community in the Deep South: An ecological exploration. Rural and Remote Health, 11(1), 1634–1643.

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