Communicable Diseases

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Theoretical Framework

The study is anchored on the Health Belief Model by social psychologists Hochbaum, Rosenstock and Kegels working in the U.S. Public Health Services (1996) which is constructed to explain which beliefs should be targeted in communication campaigns to cause positive health behaviors. The Health Belief Model helps explain why individual patients may accept or reject preventative health services or adopt healthy behaviors. Social psychologists originally developed the Health Belief Model to predict the likelihood of a person taking recommended preventative health action and to understand a person’s motivation and decision-making about seeking health services. The Health Belief Model proposes that people will respond best to messages about health promotion or disease prevention when the following four conditions for change exist: The model specifies that if individuals perceive a negative health outcome to be severe, perceive themselves to be susceptible to it, perceive the benefits to behaviors that reduce the likelihood of that outcome to be high, and perceive the barriers to adopting those behaviors to be low, then the behavior is likely for those individuals. It can provide guidelines for program development allowing planners to understand and address reasons for non-compliance (Becker & Rosenstock, 1984). The Health Belief Model has been applied to a broad range of health behaviors and subject populations. Three broad areas can be identified (Conner & Norman, 1996): 1) Preventive health behaviors, which include health-promoting (e.g. diet, exercise) and health-risk (e.g. smoking) behaviors as well as vaccination and contraceptive practices. 2) Sick role behaviors, which refer to compliance with recommended medical regimens, usually following professional diagnosis of illness. 3) Clinic use, which includes physician visits for a variety of reasons. The model is appropriate for complex preventive and sick-role health behaviors. Its...
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