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Psyc 314 health behaviours part 1.docx

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 314
Frances Chen

Psyc 314 Health Behaviour Interventions Part I Health promotion efforts: enabling people to increase their control over and improve their health • Starting good habits early & carrying them throughout life • Educating people about health risks • Helping at risk people to monitor & offset risks • Primary prevention: stopping or preventing bad health behaviors before illness develops Primary prevention: preventing the bad habit from occurring in the first place  Stopping the bad health behaviours before an illness develops Why are health behaviours difficult to change? • Detrimental behaviours become ingrained (habit) • Detrimental effects of bad habits are often a long ways away • Some unhealthy behaviours are pleasurable • Changing one health behaviour doesn’t necessarily change them all  People take pleasure in certain bad habits: this acts as reinforcement. There are pleasurable benefits from this bad behaviour  Behaviours can become habits/ingrained which causes it to be difficult to alter this behaviour  Often times the effects of bad habits aren’t seen right away: you don’t experience any negative effects right now, the bad consequences are so far away that you do not internalize them  Health behaviours are independent from one another. Targeting one health behaviour doesn’t mean that they will alter a variety of health behaviours Approaches to changing behaviour: • Use of expert, admired people who are likeable • Short, clear, direct messages • Colourful, vivid messages • Case histories (not statistics) • Strongest arguments at beginning and end • Fear appeals  When you are trying to craft a message use these things: o Use an expert or a person who can be seen as a role model, people who are admired as a way to get people to want to do things o Keep your message short, clear, and direct. What it is you want them to do and how can they do it o Use colorful vivid images and use stories of people who people can relate to (don’t just use stats and tables) o Make your strongest arguments at the beginning and the end o Another approach is using fear appeal (this is commonly promoted: use graphic ways to show people the detrimental effects of those bad health habits)  Moderately fearful messages work best Does the way in which you present a message affect health behaviours? • Updegraff, Health Psychology, 2011 • H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009 • Trying to encourage use of hand sanitizers • Posted either gain-framed or loss-framed message next to 58 public hand sanitizers • Outcomes: use of hand sanitizer  Updegraff (2011)  In 2009 H1N1 became a pandemic and became a great concern and people were trying to instill health behaviours to prevent this  They tried to encourage the use of hand sanitizer  They wanted to see why people are not engaging in this health behaviour which decreases the likelihood of getting this flu  They came up with two different messages to put near hand sanitizing stations o Gain-framed message: what are the benefits to you if you do this behaviour? o Loss-framed message: what could happen to you in you do not engage in this behaviour? The costs of not doing this behaviour  Outcomes: use of hand sanitizer  Results: they found that it is better to use a gain framed message; people in stations with gain framed messages have a greater increase in using hand sanitizer than the loss framed (but both increased) o It is not always the case that gain framed message is best o They work best when trying to engage in behaviour to stop disease o Loss framed messages work best when you want someone to do something around risk Models of health behaviour: • Health Belief Model -perceived threat -belief that health behaviour will reduce threat • Theory of Planned Behaviour -behaviour a result of intentions  Health belief model: how much you believe that engaging in health behaviour actually reduces your risk—and if you believe you are actually at risk  Theory of plann
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