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Health beliefs - what role do they play in outcomes research?
conference contributionposted on 2008-01-01, 00:00 authored by M Reaney, A Malik-Aslam, C Martin, J Speight
Lay beliefs about health and illness are individual and social, influenced by prevailing social and medical ideologies. Health beliefs clearly influence self-care motivation and have an effect on health-promoting behaviour (e.g. attendance at a screening program, food choices, adherence to prescribed medication). Further, the beliefs and attributions that people hold can directly affect physiological systems (e.g. the immune system). Health beliefs have been shown to influence a variety of patient-reported outcomes, including medication adherence, satisfaction and health-related quality of life. It is widely acknowledged that when the patient's beliefs are acknowledged and incorporated, rather than ignored, optimal biomedical patient-reported outcomes are more likely to be achieved. Several psychological models have been developed to predict health behaviours and may be utilised to identify the beliefs that inform such behaviours. These models consider the social milieu, personality, demographic, political and economic predictors of health beliefs. They demonstrate the impact of beliefs such as the causes of illness, effectiveness of healthcare and acceptability of health services, and how manipulating these can result in actual or intended behaviour change. This workshop will introduce health beliefs and discuss the psychological models that underpin the translation of belief into behaviour. The session is interactive, with participants defining health beliefs and their impact on behaviour. Participants will be invited to critique the models and apply their chosen model to a health indication of their choice.