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PSYC 2301 (154)
Lecture 3

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PSYC 2301
Tarry Ahuja

Health behaviors and health-enhancing behaviors Overview - Define health behaviors - Health habits - Theories and models of for health behavior change - Preventable injuries - Factors influencing healthy lifestyle Health promotion - Good health, or wellness, is a personal and collective achievement • It’s not that you aren’t sick, but it’s something you can control and improve your overall health - WHO defines health promotion as: “the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health” - Different perspectives • Individual • Medical practitioner • Psychologist • Media Smart Canadians- Lalonde Report (1974) - Proposed the concept of the “health field” - Identified two main health principles: • The health-care system • Prevention of health problems and promotion of good health - First modern government document in the Western world to acknowledge that our emphasis upon a biomedical health care system is WRONG! Role of health behaviors - Patterns of disease have shifted over 70 years • Acute diseases vs. preventable diseases  People used to die from diseases such as malaria, however, now people die from diseases such as obesity, lung cancer, etc…  The diseases that used to kill a lot of people were due to lack of knowledge and sanitization  Preventable diseases are a disease of lifestyle • Modifying health behaviors can lead to a 50% reduction in deaths - Benefits of modifying health behaviors: • Reduction in deaths due to lifestyle-related diseases (ex: eating too much junk food, drinking, smoking, etc…) • Increased longevity (life expectancy) • Longer disease-free period (quality of life)  The new goal is to live as long as you can and be as functional as you can. That is referred to as quality of life • Reduced overall health care costs (~200$ billion) What are health behaviors? - “Behaviors employed by people to enhance or maintain their health” - Health behaviors (good or bad) become health habits - Ahealth habit is a health behavior that is well established and is performed automatically • If reinforced early resistant to change Influential factors - Health behaviors are influenced by several factors including: • Socio-economic factors • Age • Gender • Values (culture) • Personal control • Social influence • Personal goals • Perceived symptoms • Access to health-care • Location • Cognitive factors Health habits in children and adolescents - Health habits are strongly affected by: • Socialization- parents as role models • Teachable moment- educational opportunity  Trial and error  When a kid does something wrong, a parent or authority figure could tell them why it’s wrong and the kid will learn • Closing the window of vulnerability- adolescence  By the time children are adolescents, the window of vulnerability, when it is still possible to teach kids new things closes and they start to retaliate Are you at risk? - Benefits of identifying at risk people: • May eliminate or prevent poor health habits • Efficient and effective use of health dollars • Help identify risk factors in this patient population - Problems with identifying at risk people: • Hypervigalence- over sensitive to stressors • May become defensive and disregard risk factors Ethical issues - Ethical issues must be considered when identifying at-risk people - Do you identify at-risk people if risk is low? - Identification may initiate symptoms (ex: depression) • If we ID something, it may lead to another disease such as depression, especially after discovering you are diagnosed with a disease such asAlzheimer’s or cancer - There might not be a clear intervention - Interpersonal issues may arise Health habits in elderly - The main goal for elderly is to improve quality of life - Factors to consider include: • Exercise • Participation in social activities • Monitor alcohol consumption • Controlled diet • Vaccinations Other factors to consider - Gender and ethnic differences can influence vulnerability to particular health risks: • Alcohol con
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