Health Behavior Theory Presentation

Having the opportunity create a presentation, narrate it, and post it on youtube has been very rewarding. The purpose was to educate health professionals. I elected to focus on theory basics on the health belief model because it is one of the theories that I came to understand very well throughout the course of Theory of Health Behavior, and it is one of my favorite theories studied.



Sociocultural Theories: Social Marketing & Health Campaigns

I recently reviewed and learned about a few sociocultural theories: Social Cognitive Theory, Diffusion of Innovations, & Social Networking Theory, as well as Social Marketing. Social marketing immediately caught my attention. I thought I knew what social marketing was – marketing dealing with social and/or online networks. I was way off! It can involve those factors, but it is much more. Social Marketing in health involves using commercial marketing strategies to “sell” a behavior to a target group. The behavior is the product.  Below is some extra information about the basics of social marketing.

Social Marketing DOES Social Marketing IS NOT
Use commercial marketing strategies Just advertising or communication, or media campaign
Involve influencing voluntary behavior change Able to reach everyone
Promote an end goal of improved personal welfare& improved welfare of society A fast process
  A theory

Social marketing emphasizes knowing your audience well. You must spend time narrowing down a target audience that is mostly homogeneous. A group that is too large and diverse will not work because the same message will not resonate with all members. Once your target audience is narrowed, you must research their habits. When will they change? What motivates them? How do they make decisions?

It is also important to note that social marketing aims to change behavior. Not educate and promote awareness.

Social marketing operates around the following elements:

  • Audience Orientation
  • Audience Segmentation
  • Influencing Behavior
  • Competition
  • Exchange
  • Marketing Mix (4Ps: Price, Place, Promotion, Product)

Addressing all of these factors together is what makes social marketing different from other public health planning approaches.

I wanted to highlight social marketing because it is a little different than the other theories and strategies I have learned about so far this semester (although it is not a theory itself).

An example of a social marketing campaign is Above The Influence. Click the name to go to their site. One of their major campaign materials are commercials/videos. I posted one below. They also have an interactive website and other materials.

I also want to highlight a large HIV/AIDS health communication campaign I recently learned about: Act Against AIDS. Act Against AIDS consists of several smaller campaigns that are more targeted and focus on different groups in the general population as well as providers. Click on the pictures to go to the respective websites.

Campaigns for general population:

  • Let’s Stop HIV Together
  • Testing Makes Us Stronger
  • Take Charge. Take the Test.
  • Greater Than AIDS

Campaigns for providers:

  • HIV Screening. Standard Care.
  • One test. Two Lives.
  • Prevention IS Care

Resource: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Social marketing for nutrition and physical activity web course. Retrieved from

Health Behavior Change Plan: Health Belief Model & Yoga

When working on my mini health behavior change plan for my Theory of Health Behavior class I worked with a plan for each individual level theory that we studied: Health Belief Model, Theory of Planned Behavior, and Transtheoretical Model. The behavior change I was, an am, working towards is to practice yoga 5 days per week for 30 minutes each time. With the end goal being to reduce stress and increase flexibility.

Yoga is a very beneficial form of exercise, incorporating strength, balance, stretching, and even stress reduction and spirituality. I am personally interested in all of these qualities but am focusing on posture and stress reduction. There are many studies reviewing the stress relieving and posture improving qualities that yoga can have on one practicing. Here are a few examples that I like:

Habitual Body Posture and Mountain Position of People Practising Yoga

Mindfulness and Levels of Stress- A Comparison of Beginner and Advanced Hatha Yoga Practitioners

Yoga can benefit most individuals, especially in a time where many people spend several hours of their days at a computer, everything moves at a fast pace, and a lot is demanded from your limited time. This applies to students like myself and professionals in the field of public health.

Yoga is something that most people can practice, no matter their fitness level or previous experience. I looked over the 3 behavior change plans that I developed in class and chose the one that I think is the best and want to follow to facilitate this change in my life. I have posted the Health Belief Model version of my behavior change plan here for anyone who is interested in incorporating yoga into their life, or knows someone who could benefit from this plan. (Click the chart to get a larger view.)

Literature Review & Transtheoretical Model

After just completing a literature review on the Transtheoretical Model (TTM), I would like to share some important points about this model and some of it uses in the field of public health.

  • The TTM is a theory of change originally developed in the 1970s by Prochaska & DiClemente
  • Has a psychology background
  • Originally used to describe addictive behaviors in a clinical context
  • Very adaptable – is used in many different settings and scenarios today
  • Currently the most popular theory
  • Focuses on the individual’s current level of readiness to change
  • Level of readiness is used to develop an intervention fitted to that individual
  • Goal is to move to next level – NOT to change behavior
  • Individualized interventions work better than generalized interventions.
  • TTM Constructs:

1. Stages of Change

2. Process of Change

3.  Decisional Balance

4. Self Efficacy

The Stages of Change are  the TTM’s most well know construct. The model is even frequently referred to as Stages of Change. These stages outline a spectrum on which an individual may lie, and where there intervention should then be planned from.

Construct 1: Stages of change

a. Precontemplation

Individual is unaware of the problem

b. Contemplation

Individual is considering change within the next 6 months

c. Preparation

Individual is planning to change in the next month

d. Action

Individual is in the process of changing; already taking steps

e. Maintenance

Individual is keeping up with and continuing the change that was made

Below is a diagram of the stages of change construct. [Click on it to go to the source]. I like this diagram because it also includes relapse. This is a very important concepts in stages of change because at any time an individual may regress to a previous stage. For example someone may be in action and then fall of the wagon and go back to contemplation. Relapse can happen at any time in the model but is more common in the action and maintenance phases.

Below is a diagram that shows the incorporation of the other constructs. [Click on diagram to go to the source]. Most diagrams only had the stages of change, so this one was more difficult to locate but does a good job displaying how all of the constructs work together. The stages of change are listed across the top; maintenance is not included in this diagram. I think the diagram does a good job of visually describing the other constructs as they relate to the stages of change. It shows at each stage where an individual will likely be in their process of change, decisional balance, and self efficacy. It is nice to simply see how all 4 constructs combine. There is further description below the picture.

Construct 2: Process of Change

  1. Conciousness raising: learning facts that support the new behavior
  2. Dramatic relief: experiencing negative emotions with the old behavior
  3. Environmental reevaluation: learning how the behavior is an important part of one’s environment
  4. Self-reevaluation: realizing that the behavior is an important part of one’s identity
  5. Self liberation: committing to change
  6. Counter conditioning: substituting new behaviors in place of the old behaviors
  7. Reinforcement management: rewarding for positive behaivor changes, decreasing rewards for negative ones.
  8. Stimulus control: removing reminders of the unhealthy behavior, adding reminders to engage in new behavior
  9. Helping relationships: social support for behavior change
  10. Social liberation: realizing social norms are changing to support change in behavior.

Construct 3: Decisional Balance

Involves looking at the benefits and barriers/pros and cons related to the change and weighing them to see if the change is worth it.

Construct 4: Self Efficacy

Refers to the confidence an individual has in their ability to perform a new behavior.

The literature shows that this model can be very effective when implemented correctly. If interventions are tailored according to the stage that each individual is on, results often show that these individuals are more successful that those who did not have stage-tailored interventions. Below are the studies I looked at for my literature review that show success with the TTM. Clicking on the names will open the PDF of the article.

1. Computer-Mediated Intervention Tailored on Transtheoretical Model Stages and Processes of Change Increases Fruit and Vegetable Consumption Among Urban African-American Adolescents

2. Transtheoretical Model-based multiple behavior intervention for weight management: Effectiveness on a population basis

3. Impact of a Stage-Tailored, Web-Based Intervention on Folie Acid-Containing Multi vitamin Use by College Women

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