Application of Social and Behavioral Theories in Public Health Interventions

9. Challenges Moving Forward

Exercise 6

The exercise tests the users knowledge of the four models.

Instructions:
Decide which of the four models might be a good fit for each of the following public health examples.

Models:
Social Cognitive Theory
Health Belief Model
Social Ecological Model
Transtheoretical/Stages of Change Model

Public Health Examples: 
A researcher wants to implement an intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening among Black men.

A counseling program for teen alcoholism wants to find out what treatment techniques work best for the varying degrees of readiness among its clients.

A researcher is interested in understanding how the availability (or lack of availability) of condoms can play a role in risky sex behaviors among teenage girls in order to design an intervention.

A hospital administrator wants to conduct a survey of both employees and patients to understand if there are any places where policy change might lead to better meeting of patient and employee needs.

A smoking cessation clinic is trying to figure out how to improve its success rate by attracting smokers who are really serious about quitting.

Community health workers in a developing country are trying to encourage safe water-handling practices such as disinfecting water and safe water storage.  They think that to be successful, people need to learn new information and skills, encourage their family members to take precautions, receive appropriate storage vessels, and have disinfectants distributed to them.

Answers:
A researcher wants to implement an intervention to increase colorectal cancer screening among Black men.
[Health Belief Model] The Health Belief Model is often a good fit for prevention programs like this because in such cases of prevention or early detection, beliefs can be as important as overt symptoms.

A counseling program for teen alcoholism wants to find out what treatment techniques work best for the varying degrees of readiness among its clients.
[Transtheoretical/Stages of Change Model] The Transtheoretical/Stages of Change Model can be used to understand why people respond to treatment differently.  By identifying which stages of change clients are in, the program could assess whether certain techniques work better with clients in certain stages.

A researcher is interested in understanding how the availability (or lack of availability) of condoms can play a role in risky sex behaviors among teenage girls in order to design an intervention.
[Social Cognitive Theory] The Social Cognitive Theory fits well here because it explains behavior in terms of interaction between behavior, personal factors, and environmental factors such as availability of a prevention ‘product’ (i.e. condoms).

A hospital administrator wants to conduct a survey of both employees and patients to understand if there are any places where policy change might lead to better meeting of patient and employee needs.
[Social Ecological Model] The Social Ecological Model examines levels of influence on behavior and how creating an environment conducive to healthy behaviors can lead to change.

A smoking cessation clinic is trying to figure out how to improve its success rate by attracting smokers who are really serious about quitting.
[Transtheoretical/Stages of Change Model] The Transtheoretical/Stages of Change model addresses whether a person is ‘ready’ to take the actions to quit successful, and if the clinic can identify those who are most ready, it will be more successful with getting clients to quit.

Community health workers in a developing country are trying to encourage safe water-handling practices such as disinfecting water and safe water storage.  They think that to be successful, people need to learn new information and skills, encourage their family members to take precautions, receive appropriate storage vessels, and have disinfectants distributed to them.
[Social Ecological Model] The Social Ecological Model suggests interventions at multiple levels, including the individual, interpersonal, organizational, community and public policy levels.