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Health and Society: The Health Belief Model Essay

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Health and Society

Health behavior used to be classically defined as any activity undertaken by a person believing him/herself to be healthy for the purpose of preventing disease or detecting it at an asymptomatic stage (Kasl and Cobb, 2014). A more modern and appropriate definition would be to refer to any behaviour that influences the health of the person, whether it be health promoting or health damaging. As the GP has already outlined to the couple, the IVF process with hormone treatment is associated with behaviours such as weight gain, cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption. IVF is a stressful and enduring process, and women often partake in behaviours that are advised against as part of the coping mechanism. It must be clearly stated that it is not solely a person’s individual (cognitive, biological) experiences that determine a particular health behaviour. It is the interplay of numerous other factors that ultimately influences a particular health behaviour; these include social, cultural and environmental influences. All these stimuli interact and result in a set of beliefs that provides the basis for why individuals act the way they do.
The Health Belief Model (HBM) is a psychological model that attempts to explain and predict health behaviors by focusing on the attitudes and beliefs of individuals (Health Belief Model, 2014).The model encompasses ideas such as perceived susceptibility and severity of health-related behaviours, the perceived benefits and barriers, as well as cues to action.


(Rutter and Quine, 2014)


We’ll take obesity as an example of one of Yvonne’s behaviours as a result of the IVF treatment. Yvonne’s attitude towards obesity is central to the idea behind this model. Yvonne does no...


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...v/pmc/articles/PMC3169679/ [Accessed 25 Apr. 2014].

Macer, D. (2014). Perception of risks and benefits of in vitro fer... [Soc Sci Med. 1994] - PubMed - NCBI. [online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8146712 [Accessed 25 Apr. 2014].

Mayoclinic.org, (2014). In vitro fertilization (IVF) Risks - Tests and Procedures - Mayo Clinic. [online] Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/in-vitro-fertilization/basics/risks/prc-20018905 [Accessed 25 Apr. 2014].

McGUINNESS, S. and S. UÍ CHONNACHTAIGH (2011). "Implications of Recent Developments in Ireland for the Status of the Embryo." Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 20(03): 396-408.

Bailii.org, (2014). Roche -v- Roche & ors [2009] IESC 82 (15 December 2009). [online] Available at: http://www.bailii.org/ie/cases/IESC/2009/S82.html [Accessed 25 Apr. 2014].



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