Case Study: Social model or Ottawa Charter


Health scholars, in this video, we’re looking at how to apply the social model of health and the Ottawa Charter to a case study.

Some students find it difficult to identity parts of the social model or the Ottawa Charter that have been used in a case study. And many find it difficult to then link that aspect to a particular health outcome. As such, it’s easy to see a question that involves a case study, think “eh, I’ll do it later” and then go and sit on Facebook for four hours. But *you* won’t be one of those people, because after this video, you’ll know exactly what to do. To start with, let’s have a look at a case study from the 2010 VCAA exam.

This case study is long but it talks of a program that aims to improve community acceptance of cultural diversity through approaches such as communications, community development, and supporting organisations with training and other resources. I won’t take the time to read out the entire thing but it is written out in full below.

Now, the question itself calls for an explanation of how two principles of the social model of health have been used in this program. However, it is good practice to consider both the social model of health and the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, so we’ll do one of each. Let us first focus on our social model of health.

Many of the five guiding principles or ‘areas’ of the social model could be used here, so there is no particular answer that the examiner is looking for. But no matter which principle you use, your answer should follow a similar template. Your response should start with the principle that has been used, then it should explain how that principle has been used. If possible, you should also try to use information that has been presented in the case study.

That seems easy enough in theory, so let’s try to do it in practice. You might say something like:

“Reduce social inequalities: the LEAD program helps to reduce social inequalities by promoting an encouraging and safe environment for people from “a range of cultural backgrounds.” That is, it focuses on *all* backgrounds rather than a select few. This is exemplified by the fact that the LEAD program aims to focus on the entire community rather than just those directly affected. Indeed, by aiming to ensure fairer outcomes for *all*, the program will contribute to a reduction of social inequality.”


A similar approach can be taken to address the action areas of the Ottawa Charter. We could say:

“Create supportive environments: the LEAD program places significant emphasis on community acceptance of cultural diversity. This is likely to result in a supportive community environment in terms of limiting cultural discrimination. Moreover, the program works to increase understanding across cultural groups, which would go a long way to creating a supportive environment.”