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Flashcards in Health Behaviours Deck (70)
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What is the definition of a health behaviour?

Activities that may help to prevent disease, detect disease and disability at an early stage, promote and enhance health or protect from risk of injury


What are the 2 main categories of health behaviours and examples?

1. health promoting/enhancing

e.g. eating fruit, exercising

2. avoidance of health harming

e.g. smoking cessation


What are the 2 categories of factors that influence health behaviours?

1. internal/personal factors

2. external factors


What are the internal factors that influence health behaviour?

1. knowledge about risk associated with the behaviour

2. attitudes/beliefs about the behaviour

3. circumstances e.g. finances, time, stress

4. physiology/genetics


What are the external factors that influence health behaviour?

1. social support

2. social norms (what other people think of the behaviour)

3. media

4. laws and regulations

5. the environment

6. healthcare system


What is the main reason why health behaviours are important?

They can have an effect on reasons for death

Cancer, heart disease and stroke are all influenced by behaviours


What are the 5 major diseases in the UK that cause premature death?

1. cancer (42%)

2. cardiovascular disease (22%)

3. other (21%)

4. respiratory disease (9%)

5. liver disease (6%)


What are the individual causes of premature death by the main diseases?

1. smoking

2. drinking alcohol

3. obesity - poor diet and lack of exercise


What are the societal causes of premature death by the main diseases?

1. working class

2. ethnic minority

3. living in the northern UK

4. being male

5. having a disability or mental health condition


What percentage of cancer cases in the UK are preventable by changes in behaviour?



What are the main cancer risk factors?

1. smoking/exposure to another person's cigarette smoke

2. drinking more than 1 unit of alcohol daily

3. eating less than 5 portions fruit/veg daily

4. eating red/processed meat

5. having a BMI over 25

6. HIV infection

7. increasing age


What are the 4 main lifestyle factors that cost the NHS the most money?

1. poor diet

2. overweight/obesity

3. smoking

4. inactivity


What was the focus of health promotion in the 1850s?

Prevent infectious diseases (e.g. cholera, small pox)

e.g. immunisations, clean water, etc.


what is the focus of health promotion today?

Prevent illness (e.g. heart disease, cancer) and promote good health


What is the difference in interventions today compared to the 1850s?

1850s - interventions impact on health

today - interventions directly impact people's health related behaviours


What are examples of health interventions today?

Laws, education campaigns, screening

Interventions try to change someone's behaviour to allow them to live longer, healthier lives


What is the purpose of interventions to change 'bad' behaviours?

To persuade people to reduce risk behaviours that increase likelihood of disease


What are the 3 main 'behavioural pathogens' and what diseases are they linked to?

1. smoking/drinking

(heart disease, cancer)

2. sex and contraception

(HIV and other STDs)

3. stress

(immune system response and cardiovascular disease)


What is the purpose of interventions to encourage 'good' behaviours?

To persuade people to increase individual behaviours that benefit health


What are the 4 main behavioural immunogens?

1. exercise

2. balanced diet

3. immunisation

4. screening


What is meant by "making every contact count" within the NHS?

The NHS should take every opportunity to prevent poor health and promote healthy living by making the most of health care professionals' contact with individual patients


What impact has been seen on obese patients advised by a healthcare professional on how to lose weight?

A much larger % of overweight and obese patients attempt to lose weight after having advice given to them by a healthcare professional


What is the traditional approach to public health interventions?

1. information on the health risk/health message is given

2. this leads to behaviour change


What is the problem with the traditional approach to public health interventions?

Its effect is dependent on the population being targeted

Many people already know the risks and still choose not to change their lifestyle


Why did the UK Government Change4Life campaign fail?

1. it increased awareness but there was no change in attitudes or behaviour

2. some people reduced their healthy behaviours as they thought they were doing "too well" already


How do campaigns exploit the threat of danger to cause a behaviour change?

Persuasive messages that arouse fear are used to scare people into changing their behaviour


Is using fear to promote a change in health behaviours effective?

How could it be made more effective?

It is not very effective

It is more effective if there is a message that gives people advice on how to change their behaviour and make them more confident in doing so (self-efficacy)


What is the problem with most campaigns?

They often have unexpected and unwanted consequences

e.g. campaigns against drugs can make them seem more appealing


What are the pros of using information campaigns?

1. accessible and easy to understand

2. relevance made clear

3. memorable, so people recall it

4. accurate and appropriate

5. large proportion of the population will see them


What are the cons of using information campaigns?

Despite all the pros, none of them are sufficient to change behaviours