Healthy living - Theories of health belief
- HBM: S - It is useful – used extensively by health professionals to predict the adoption of healthy behaviours, e.g. taking up of vaccinations (and to target health promotion of those at risk). S - It explains individual differences in health behaviours due to knowledge of age, lifestyle etc. S – Holistic as it considers nature and nurture. W – It’s a model, difficult to generalise.
- Locus of Control: W – reductionist, only divides people into two distinct categories – surely not all ‘internalisers’ are healthy and all externalisers are unhealthy? Therefore, it fails to explain individual differences in health behaviours. W - Due to only considering how a person’s LOC affect’s health decisions it is also a reductionist and deterministic theory. S – However, there is lots of empirical research evidence to support LOC therefore it is plausible. S - Holistic as it considers nature and nurture.
- Self-Efficacy: S - Offers an individual explanation – suggesting that individuals are responsible for making their own health decisions. Useful as it suggests that health behaviours can be changed. S - Can be considered a holistic explanation, as several factors can influence an individual’s self-efficacy (e.g. past experiences). W – Ethnocentric.
Methods of health promotion:
- Effectiveness: Maybe effective for a specific health behaviour e.g. fear on dental care, but does not mean it can be generalised to other health behaviours e.g. stop smoking.
- Ethical issues: fear tactics can be arguably unethical, working with children.
- Relies on self-report method: people may lie to fit in with socially desirable healthy behaviours.
- Samples: tend to be small, and ethnocentric so cannot be generalised.
- Reductionist: S- only focuses on one form of health promotion. W- helps to develop a greater understanding on what does and does not change health behaviours, useful applications.
- S - High in ecological validity due to use of quasi and natural experiments. W – lacks control of extraneous variables, reduces cause and effect.
- S - Takes a situational approach in changing behaviour, arguably easy to implement. W – doesn’t consider individual differences, tries to generalise a one fits all approach to health promotion.
Features of adherence:
- S- Use of biological and self-report methods – useful when trying to get round issues of social desirability and more holistic e.g. Lustman.
- W - Biological measures are difficult to establish cause and effect, could be other reasons for change in biology such as diet, stress and not the medication (Lustman). S – Biological measures highly reliable
- S - The theory of rational non-adherence is plausible i.e. if the medication is causing you more hassle than the disease, you won’t adhere. S – able to develop more effective treatments by understanding why people do not adhere to medical advice. W – may not be generalisable to all illnesses and is therefore reductionist.
- S- Use of field experiment and before and after measurements in Watt study increase ecological validity. W – Only over 2 weeks therefore cannot assume that the improvement of adherence would have long lasting effects.
- W- Behaviourist approach is very simplistic (Watt), may apply to children, but questionable whether positive reinforcement would work on adults.
- W - Use of review article (Bulpitt) often looks at outdated research, may not apply to modern day society and can lack depth. S- enables the researcher to look at patterns and attitudes towards medication and adherence change over time, which may be more useful.