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UNDERSTANDING BEHAVIOUR

CHANGE
1. Definition of behaviour
Habits /practices,
Actions that people get accustomed to doing
e.g. smoking, drinking alcohol, sex,
Pleasurable actions which become part of ones
life,
Such actions may be difficult to avoid or
change.

Types of behaviours
Good behaviours
Socially acceptable by the community. i.e
in line with peoples beliefs, customs and norms
not foreign.
Habits that promote health thus not injurious to
health.

Bad behaviours
Not socially acceptable,
Conflicting with culture,
Put people at risk of disease,
Cause suffering and ill health.

e.g.
RISKY BEHAVIOURS OR HABITS
-

Un protected sex
Engaging in risky cultural practices
Other non-cultural but risky practices.
Smoking

Factors which influence behaviours.


Internal and external
Interplay of internal and external factors.

Internal
Physiological factors
Changes influenced by hormonal effects in an
individual i.e. physiological changes commonly
manifested during adolescence.
Attitudes
Beliefs

External/ Environmental/ social

Life style determine health behaviours e.g. smoking


Environmental housing or pollution
Social factors class, gender, ethnicity, age
Note that the interplay of social/ environmental
and biological factors may lead to development
of certain characteristics.

NOTE
Attempts to change behaviour should
consider factors which led to acquisitions of
risky behaviours.
Therefore strategies for intervention should
be based on such information.

Steps to Behavior Change

Advocacy
Practice
Intention
Approval
Knowledge

Process of behaviour change


Personal susceptibility/vulnerability.
Person should understand and appreciate the
severity of the disease
Must be aware of consequences/effectiveness of
behaviour

10

Not to blame others or making excuses for not


changing.
Should understand and believe that the risk really/
truly is present.

Consider the seriousness and severity.


Can cause death,
May have no cure or difficult to access cure
Contagious e.t.c.
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Provide support to a person trying to change.


Support him/her to sustain the change because the
first encounter may not be pleasant.
Help the person to create a good self image i.e be
proud of himself for making the change. (selfesteem, help him/her feel good about him/herself).
Provide support to a person trying to change.
12

Consider and plan to overcome the barriers to


the proposed change.
Identify the barriers to change.

Select a strategic alternative to the barriers.


Practice how to overcome such barriers.
Try out the change. Be confident and
comfortable to try out the change.
13

Consider and accept the proposed behaviour


change.
Explore the possibilities for changing risky practices.
Consider the proposed change beneficial/ advantageous.
Willing to try out the proposed change i.e. try using
Family Planning methods
The new behaviour must be realistic e.g. Family planning
methods acceptable to catholics.
14

Critically discuss and analyze the process of


behaviour change.
Explore and discuss realistic strategies to
sustain behaviour change.

Provide new skills in order to be proficient to try out


the new habits/ behaviour i.e. using Family
Planning methods.
Realistic strategies to sustain the change
Create a conducive environment to practice the new
behaviour i.e avail contraceptives in use.
Provide training in assertiveness skills and self
esteem.
16

Mobilise and educate the leaders to support the


change.
Train as many peers to practice and support the
new change.
Motivate and provide incentives to support the
change.

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Important thoughts
To Change other you may have to change your
self first
To understand your community better always
try and put yourself in their shoes (remember
to remove you own first)