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Essay Paper on Models of Health Behavior

Behavior change is a complex process, frequently complex to attain and to carry on. Health professionals recognize that, in their work to promote healthy behaviors, they are challenging in opposition to powerful forces such as, linking social, psychological and environmental conditioning. However, the benefits of behavior modify must be persuasive. As a result, health educators use numerous diverse models for perceptive behavior change and creating successful interventions. There are many health behavior models, but there are three commonly used models with examples and typical applications, 1) Health Belief model, 2) Stages of Change or Transtheoretical Model and 3)Social Cognitive Theory.

The Health Belief model is one of the first behavior modify theories developed. Based on description of this model, the changes in this model behavior relay on five main factors: 1) perceived severity where it describe the principle that a health problem is serious, 2) perceived threat where it describe the principle that one is vulnerable to the problem, 3) perceived benefit where it describe the principle that changing one’s behavior will decrease the threat, 4) Perceived barriers where it describe the perception of the obstacles to changing one’s behavior, and 5) Self efficacy where it describe the principle that one has the capability to change one’s behavior.

One of the most common examples about the health behavior model is a story about a regular doctor visit reveals that a woman is obtain heart disease due to her family history and roots (perceived threat). This woman knows that her mother and father both died too early as a reason for heart problems (perceived severity). Her doctor tells her that ordinary exercise would be the best way to decrease her risk of her heart disease (perceived benefit). Thus, the doctor advice the woman to follow prescribes a walking program. The woman recognizes that with work and family it will be tough to find time to walk (perceived barriers). On her way back driving to her home from work she sees a billboard promoting every day walks as part of one’s morning and evening routine. Thus, she decides to try getting up 30 minutes earlier every day to walk two miles and finds success with this routine (self efficacy). On the other side, the Health Belief model supplies insights for why people make health decisions and creates a process to encourage the sole of change. Moreover, it is also very useful in understanding how to design health education programs and convincing messages.

The second common model of health behavior is stages of change or Transtheoretical Model. It provides a framework for describing how behavior change can take place. Based on this model description there are five stages of change 1) Precontemplation without thinking about changing behavior itself, 2) Contemplation by putting the perception about changing behavior in the close future, 3) Decision making to obtain the plan to change the behavior, 4) Action used for implementing the plan to change behavior, and finally 5) Maintenance to obtain continuation of behavior change.

The Stages of Change Model is not linear. Thus, people can enter and exit at any point moreover some people like to repeat a stage more than a few times. For example, a pack-a-day smoker is unclearly painful about smoking in the existence of non-smokers. Thus, sometime he have some thought about quitting, however he is content to keep smoking (precomptemplation). Recently, whereas visiting a friend who is also a smoker, they go outside instead of smoking beside the children. The smoker’s wife has also asked him many times to smoke outside the home to prevent their infant son from the side effects of the smoking. She convinces him to go to the doctor to talk about secondhand smoke and what available option for quitting this habit (contemplation). After talking with the doctor about the available options, he signs up for self-help program and sets a quit date (decision). Thus, on his quit day he starts using the patch and follows the self-help program guide for methods to get rid of old habits (action). He relapses after a week, but tries to quit again numerous times (contemplation and action). With motivation from friends and family, support from his doctor and the program guide, he keeps on trying (decision) and lastly quits for good (action). Although, it’s been a year since his last cigarette, he prevents situations that trigger a need to smoke and frequently rewards himself for not smoking (maintenance). In the same field, the Transtheoretical model acknowledges that not everyone is ready to change behavior. This model is so helpful in making designs for health programs targeted at exacting stages of change or for moving individuals throughout diverse stages…

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