Theories of Health Belief - Evaluation (1)
HBM: It is useful – used extensively by health professionals to predict the adoption of healthy behaviours, e.g. taking up of vaccinations (and to target health promotion of those at risk). It explains individual differences in health behaviours due to knowledge, age, sex, lifestyle etc. (e.g. the ‘demographic variables’ element of the HBM explains why males may engage in unprotected sex more than females). Also allows for psychological factors which affect adoption of healthy behaviours to be considered, not just the physical elements.
Locus of Control: Only divides people into two distinct categories – surely not all ‘internalisers’ are healthy and all externalisers are unhealthy? Therefore, it fails to explain individual differences in health behaviours due to knowledge, age, sex, lifestyle etc. Due to only considering how a person’s LOC affect’s health decisions is also a reductionist and deterministic theory. There is lots of empirical research evidence to support the theory.
Self-Efficacy: Offers an dispositional explanation – suggesting that individuals are responsible for making their own health decisions.Useful - Suggests that health behaviours can be changed, if an individual’s self-efficacy increases, so can find ways to increase an individual’s self-efficacy. Can be considered a holistic explanation, as several factors can influence an individual’s self efficacy (e.g. past experiences). Research evidence to support the theory.