How Do We Change Health Related Behaviour?Critically Evaluate Using Relevant Examples, What Makes A Successful Intervention?

4957 words - 20 pages

Keywords: Health related behaviour, brief intervention, alcohol, stages of change, intervention mapping.

ABSTRACT
The health of people depends widely on their behaviour. Targeting unhealthy behaviours depends upon a number of factors since the health practitioner needs to take into account the beliefs, the intensity of the unhealthy behaviour, an individual’s readiness to change in order to design an appropriate intervention to help the individuals understand the risks of that particular behaviour thereby inducing change. Using alcohol consumption as a health related behavior, brief interventions for this behaviour have been explained, this is mainly due to the large success of brief ...view middle of the document...

Health-related behaviours that have a positive effect are referred to as Health-protective behaviours such as using sunscreen, regular exercise, eating a low fat diet, whereas, some can have a negative effect such as substance abuse and stress-inducing behaviours.
This essay aims to discuss the various effects that alcohol has on individuals and evaluate using studies with evidence as to how interventions can refrain people from alcohol abuse. “Drinking is interlinked into the fabric of many societies such as sharing a bottle of wine over a meal, celebrating special occasions and going out for drinks with friends”. Because alcohol has become such a popular element in several activities, individuals find it difficult to function socially without having alcohol failing to realise that their behaviour could become problematic. Alcohol consumption as behaviour is therefore a result of complex group of genetic, psychological and environmental factors which facilitate this kind of behaviour. The short term effects of alcohol include dizziness and talkativeness and the immediate effects of a large amount of alcohol include slurred speech, disturbed sleep, nausea and vomiting. Even low doses of alcohol impair judgement and coordination whereas moderate levels of alcohol increases instances of aggressive behaviour.
Consequently long term effects of alcohol can lead to addiction (alcoholism), where an individual consumes large amounts of alcohol which is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, hallucinations, mood swings, memory loss and blackouts, inability to concentrate, personality breakdown, infertility, alcohol poisoning, cancer of the liver, strokes, high blood pressure as well as severe anxiety. This when combined with poor nutrition can lead to permanent damage to vital organs in the body. Alcohol consumption often depends not only on the quantity and frequency of the consumption behaviour but also personal characteristics of an individual such as age, gender and weight.
Although not quite believable that alcohol might have any beneficial aspect towards health, studies have revealed that moderate consumption of alcohol can reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases. This link between alcohol consumption and risk of heart disease is because ethanol in the alcohol increases the serum concentration of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Hence individuals especially over and above the age of 45 who are largely prone to risk of heart diseases could benefit from such moderate consumption.

Why is there need and importance to change health-related behaviour?
The health of individuals and societies at large is dependent extensively on their behaviour; therefore it is logical to say that behaviour is an important determinant of the health outcome of people. It is estimated that life expectancies through such behavioural changes could increase by 9 years and if a person could get rid of all unhealthy personal habits he would stand to gain a...

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