Healthy living

Becca Gaden
Note by Becca Gaden, updated more than 1 year ago
Becca Gaden
Created by Becca Gaden about 7 years ago


Description of the health belief model and Becker's study.

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The health belief model:Originally developed as a theory in the 1950's to explain why people failed to take part in health campaigns e.g. free tuberculosis screening. It has been developed further into a cognitive model. Explains how people make health decisions and the beliefs which are important for those decisions. Assumes we consider a range of factors when deciding whether to engage in healthy behaviours or not (Decision making based on cost-rewards). Becker (key study):111 mothers asked to complete self report on child's adherence to an asthma regime.Also did blood tests on the children (To support the findings from the self reports and check their validity (Triangulation).Positive correlation found between mothers adherence to regime and their percieved threat/seriousness of the disease. Demographic variables which influenced health belief were marital status and whether they were educated well or not (Those who were married or well educated were more likely to adhere).Conclusion: the health belief model is useful for understanding the main influences for health decisions. But if these main influences are physiological there is nothing which can ethically be done to change these ideas for people.Locus of control: Locus of control is the way in which a person explains responsibility to either themselves or other outside forces. Key theory:Developed the MHCL scale (5 point scale) measuring perception of health. Three distinct categories were recognised. Internal locus of control- The person feels responsible for their own health and will take action to improve it. e.g. If I get ill it is my behaviour which determines how soon I get better again. This cause behaviours such as having a day off or taking some medicine but these people are unlikely to visit the doctor or ask for help which could result in serious consequences. Powerful others- The person feels that other people are responsible for their own health. They are less likely to take the blame and will not change on their own. e.g. ask family, friends or doctor for help and advice. They are more likely to seek therapy or visit the doctors so that they get better quickly, but this could be annoying for others. Chance locus of control- Fatalistic about their health, these people are the least likely to do anything about their health. e.g. I have become ill due to chance and I will feel better again soon, if it's meant to be I will stay healthy.Self efficacy: The belief that you can perform adequately in a situation. Sense of personal competence is likely to have an impact on perception, motivation and performance in the task. In relation to health self efficacy is the individual's belief or confidence that they have the ability or confidence to carry out behaviours successfully. e.g. maintaining a healthy lifestyle or giving up unhealthy behaviours. Bandura (Key study):there are four influences on self efficacy. Evaluations of theories of health belief: Determinism: Very deterministic theories don't look at free will except locus of control theory. Reductionism: Very categorical and the three categories are also very simplistic. We change as we grow up therefore our health belief will also develop.Different health behaviours may leas to different health beliefs (Ignored by this model/theory).Doesn't specify different healths e.g. flu VS cancer. Overall very simplistic and reductionist.Individual/situational: If born with certain defects or disorders people are more likely to develop a powerful others locus of control (individual).If grew up in care or nobody to depend on (situational).If people cause the illness themselves (individual).Men do not ask for help as much as women (Individual).Introverted people are less likely to ask for help (Individual).If parents encourage you to ask for help when needed (situational).Culture/religion- Chance- god's hands. e.g. Jehovah witnesses (situational).Poverty or money (Situational).

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