Behaviour Change Approach to Health Promotion

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Behaviour Change Approach to Health Promotion

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  • Encourages individuals to adopt healthy behaviours which improve health.
  • Views health as property belonging to individuals.
  • People can make real improvements to their health by choosing to change their lifestyle.
  • It is peoples responsibility to take action and look after themselves.
  • Involves a change in attitude followed by a change in behaviour.
  • "Pester power" means that it cannot be easily ignored.
  • Can be aimed directly at specific audiences, e.g. dangers of anorexia in teenage girls magazines.
  • Provides information for people to make well-informed choices independently (empowerment).
  • If enough people are educated, the knowledge becomes common sense.


  • Depends on a persons readiness to take action.
  • Complex relationship between individual behaviour and social and environmental factors.
  • Behaviour may be a response to a person's living conditions which may be beyond individual control, e.g. poverty or unemployment.
  • People may feel preached at or dictated to and so resist campaigns and promotions.
  • People may throw away promotion materials like leaflets without reading them.
  • Many people don't watch television advertisements that are associated with health promotions.
  • Email and website promotions are limited to those with internet access.
  • Health websites are rarely used.


Theoretically, it would appear simple by asking "has the behaviour changed after the intervention" however there are 2 main problems that arise; change may become apparent after a long period of time and it can be difficult to determine whether behaviour change was solely due to the health promotion intervention.


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