2Session AimsTo explore what health psychology is and how it is relevant to healthTo apply and critique some of the key models in health psychology specifically relevant to health behaviourTo introduce a critical perspective within health psychology
3Health PsychologyBranch of psychology concerned with study of mental processes and behaviour in relation to health and illness.Sub-discipline of psychology (draws on knowledge from other areas of psychology as well as medicine and sociology for example, Sarafino, 2002)Relatively new area but has a discrete identity
4Health Behaviour Any behaviour which impacts on health Behaviour which improves or maintains health (Straub, 2007)‘Health-related’ behaviour‘it is difficult to imagine an activity or behaviour that does not influence health in some way – for better or worse, directly or indirectly, immediately or over the long-term’ (Straub, 2007:155).Health-protective behaviour (Sarafino, 2002)
5Health BehaviourBehaviour may have a positive or negative impact on healthFocus on behaviour is linked to a range of lifestyle factors identified as being potentially harmful to health (for example, smoking as a risk factor for coronary heart disease)
6Different kinds of health behaviour (Hubley & Copeman, 2008) Decision-basedOne-timeRoutine (Habit)AddictiveCustomTraditionLifestyle
7Key variables in understanding health behaviour Self Efficacy (Bandura 1977, 1986)Self Efficacy is the belief about whether we can do something (capacity and capability).It is linked to self-confidence.People with high levels of self efficacy tend to carry out behaviours which enhance their health (Marks et al, 2005; Straub, 2007).
8Key variables in understanding health behaviour Beliefs about controlBehavioural control and cognitive control (Tones & Green, 2004)Locus of Control (Rotter, 1966)Wallston & Wallston (1982) Multidimensional Locus of Control
9Health Belief Model Developed to explain/predict health behaviours Beliefs are a central conceptBeliefs about:- Susceptibility to illness- Severity of illness- Benefits of/barriers to taking action- Ability to take action- Outcomes of taking action
10Health Belief ModelPredicts the likelihood that a person will take action depending on their assessment of different things according to their beliefsPeople weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of taking action (cost-benefit analysis)‘Cues to action’ are needed to provoke action (internal or external)
11Theory of Planned Behaviour Three key variables:Attitude to towards the behaviourSubjective normsPerceived behavioural controlAll of these combine to produce ‘behavioural intention’ (or not). The greater the intention to engage in a particular behaviour, the more likely the behaviour will happen.
12Protection Motivation Theory Has some similarities with components of the HBM and TPB.Proposes that behaviour intention results from two types of appraisal – Threat Appraisal and Coping AppraisalThis results in an Adaptive (changing behaviour) or Maladaptive (avoidance or denial) response
13Protection Motivation Theory Central feature is ‘fear’ and role it plays in determining behaviourRelevant where people may be fearful for their healthBUT too much fear (high levels of anxiety) might cause people to disengage
14Stages of Change Describes the behaviour change process: PrecontemplationContemplationPreparationActionMaintenanceAllows for relapsing.
15Utility of Behaviour Change Models Are useful for providing some insight into why people behave in certain waysAre useful for planning health promotion interventionsThere is evidence to suggest that lifestyle interventions can be successful in promoting behaviour change at an individual level (Kitzmann et al, 2010)Understanding the components and processes involved in health behaviour can assist in designing health promotion interventions which have a greater chance of success (Trifiletti et al, 2005; Parker et al, 2004 and NICE 2006).
16Criticisms of theory in health psychology Focus on the individual level rather than wider determinants of healthReductionist approach can lead to victim blamingDo not take an holistic approach to understanding health behaviourPromote individualism and individual responsibility for healthExamine individual behaviour in isolation neglecting wider influencesNeglect the role of things like past behaviour, habit, emotion and cultureSimplify behaviour change, do not take into account time
17Criticisms of theory in health psychology In terms of research a number of difficulties have been highlighted including…Problems defining individual constructs (Bunton et al, 2002)Limited predictive utility (Abraham and Sheenan, 2005)A weak relationship between intention and behaviour – Stephens (2008) argues that other factors should be explored i.e. environmental factorsA lack of standardisation across constructs in experimental design (Conner and Norman, 2005). They tend to have been developed in specific contexts which can lead to a ‘Western’, patriarchal biasMuch of the research using the models relies on self-report measures which have limitations.Whilst many of the models draw upon aspects of sociological, psychological and anthropological theory they tend to neglect political and economic theory (Hubley and Copeman, 2008).
18Health Action Model Two key sections: Factors influencing ‘behavioural intention’Three interacting systems – belief system, motivation system and normative system2) Factors influencing whether an intention will translate into ‘action’.Factors which facilitate behaviour change, such as a supportive environment, skills and knowledge.
19Critical perspectives Challenge the notion of ‘behaviour’Refers to ‘social practices’ or ‘actions’Challenges mainstream assumptions and understandingsTakes into account the social, political and economic context (Marks, 2002) and issues of power.
20SummaryHealth psychology is a sub discipline within psychology which can help us to understand how and why people behave the ways that they do and make the choices that they make in relation to health.Health behaviour is complex and influenced by many different factors.Models of behaviour change can help in designing interventions to enable people to change their health behaviour.Critical health psychology offers an alternative perspective.