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    Health Beliefs

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    How do health beliefs inhibit or facilitate health promotion?

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com October 9, 2019, 5:56 pm ad1c9bdddf

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    Interesting question! Because beliefs are interdependent on the context and structural issues(e.g., society policies, norms, etc.), let's look at some examples of each:

    1. How do health beliefs inhibit or facilitate health promotion?
    Health beliefs inhibit or facilitate health promotion at both the individual and societal levels. For example, society norms (we believe in responsible drinking) will either promote healthy behavior (e.g., moderation in drinking) or not. For example, in some society, where there are no restrictions on sexual conduct (e.g. it is okay to have multiple sex partners), this inhibits health promotion through unhealthy sexual behavior (e.g., high number of AIDS cases. etc.).
    At the individual level, health beliefs (e.g., "it is okay to smoke" or "it is not okay to smoke") with inhibit or facilitate health-promoting behavior (e.g., person does smoke which is health inhibiting; person doesn't smoke which is health promoting; respectively).
    However, it is not only our beliefs that impact our behavior:
    Individual behavior is influenced by:

    1. Others (such as friends and family, others in the community, and community-wide 'norms').
    2. By the setting in which behavior occurs (such as in a hostel for migrant male workers).
    3. Structural factors on behavior (such as public attitudes, policies and laws).

    These may increase or decrease the ability of people to lead healthy lives and may increase or decrease the risk of harm among populations at risk. Risk reduction and health promotion require changes in behavior, knowledge and beliefs (individual change), changes in peer group norms and attitudes (community change) as well as changes in public attitudes and policy (structural change).

    Health and risk behaviors are influenced at the above three inter-dependent levels.


    Key areas of assessment: Individual health beliefs and risk behaviours

    The initial focus is at the level of individual health beliefs and risk behaviours, which either inhibit or facilitate health promotion. These are behaviours (words, actions and beliefs), which, to some extent, are under the control of people themselves. Key information to be collected includes:

    1. Description of the types of health and risk behaviours.
    2. The pattern and extent of health and risk behaviour in different groups.
    3. Beliefs, perceptions and knowledge about health and risk.
    4. Perceptions of factors that inhibit and enable risk reduction.

    Let's look at several examples at the three inter-dependent levels:

    Example 1: sexual risk behaviour among street children

    Types of sexual risk behaviours may include: unprotected sex; ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution describes how health beliefs inhibit or facilitate health promotion. It also provides many examples illustrating the relationship between health beliefs and health promotion, as well as references.