Models of Health Behavior Change Essay

Models of Health Behavior Change Essay

1. The Health Behavior Model pertains to a psychosocial theory the attempts to describe the variation in a person actions and behavior based on its associated to health. For example, an individual tends to act responsibly with regards to brushing his teeth daily in order to avoid developing dental cavities and gum disorders. Despite the straightforward and purely reflective purposes, the Health Behavior Model is difficult to employ in predicting adherence or change in behavior because the premise of the model is based on an important concern of an individual. However, it is still possible that there may be individuals in a study that do not regard health as a priority or health concern and thus when this is the situation, the Health Behavior Model is not applicable.

On the other hand, the Model of Illness Behavior depicts that an individual behaves based on his current medical condition or illness (Fabrega, 1973). This model is also difficult to employ in order to predict adherence or behavior change because the variables for this model are rather confounding to identify and implement. This model can thus only provide estimates of certain settings and variables in a study.

2. The Health Decision Model is believed to strongly influence whether or not a patient follows the recommendations of his healthcare professional. This model is mainly based on the preferences of the patient, wherein a decision regarding adherence or change is influenced by the actual trade-off or risks that they have heard or have been presented. For example, a patient more likely adopts an alternative therapy if there have been told that this procedure has a great chance to prolong his life or curb the chances of dying.

3. The outcome expectancies strongly influence a patient’s intention to act because the individual believes that a certain behavior suggested by a healthcare professional will result in a cure. However, it should be understood that the expectancies vary depending on the severity of the situation. For example, if quitting to smoke is the main choice between life and death, then the patient will strongly attempt to cease smoking. However, if the incentive is something minor such as attaining whiter teeth, then a patient may not be as strongly driven to pursue such behavioral change of using teeth whitening products.

4. The five stages of the Transtheoretical Model of Change include contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination. Contemplation pertains to an individual’s plan to perform a certain action. Prior to this stage is the pre-contemplation step, which is characterized by an individual’s lack of plan or intention to perform a certain task. The pre-contemplation and contemplation generally last for 6 months, respectively. The preparation stage is involved with activities that are associated with the actual action and thus is characterized by particular behavioral changes that are geared towards the plan. The action stage pertain the precise behavior that has been changed and this usually lasts for a short period of time. The maintenance stage is the period when a particular behavior has successfully been altered and thus lasts for an extended period of time. The termination stage pertains to that point in time wherein the individual shows signs that he will never performed his old behavior again. This stage is thus linked to the absence of any relapse with regards to the modified behavioral pattern.


Fabrega, I. (1973). Toward a model of illness behavior. Medical Care, 11, 470-484.

Rosenstock, I.M. (1974). Historical origins of the health belief model. Health Education Monographs, 2, 328-335.

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