Health Belief System Theory Term Paper by Nicky

A look at different concepts of health.
# 150671 | 1,000 words | 17 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Mar 29, 2012 in Medical and Health (Medical Studies) , Anthropology (General)

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This paper examines the link between overall health and other social and cultural factors. First, the paper presents a number of historical views about health and its causes. In particular, it considers how what people saw as the root of health and illness prior to the 20th century. Then, the paper discusses Eastern medicine which has combined the causation of disease with the idea of balance and a look at the holistic individual. Next, the paper introduces contemporary models of health, showing how empirical research supports that there are many modifiers that can create illness, modify illness patterns, contribute to healing, and act in a preventative manner. Finally, the paper addresses how these models can be used in a culturally diverse community.

From the Paper:

"Prior to the 20th century, most people believed illness was caused by their lack of faith, random events, or other mythological means. There was little understanding of causality, and even less belief that the world of bacteria and sanitation could contribute to disease. While laughable know, we must remember that many historical figures believed in the draining of blood as a means for healthcare and preventative disease prevention (Kennedy, 2004: 3-11). After the discovery of bacteria and the use of the microscope, the "Bio-Medical Model" (BMM) moved into prominence, believing that specific illness were linked to specific bacteria, viruses, or pathogens. The diseases that wiped out so many in our early history were dealt with by using this model: tuberculosis, measles, chicken pox, etc., However, there were still medical issues that defied this pathogen-based model. (Porter, 1999, Ch. 1). This "germ" model of medicine was a way for Europeans to define, analyze, and as practical philosophy showed - deal with the issue by killing the germ. Only peripherally did science take into consideration that they germ or the cause might have greater and wider effects. Indeed, the entire idea of vaccination came about precisely because of this germ model of science..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adler, N., (1994), "Health Psychology: Why do Some People Get Sick and Some Stay Well?", Annual Review of Psychology, 45.
  • Blair-O'Connor, B. (1994). Healing Traditions: Alternative Medicine and the Health Professions. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Brady, E. (2001). Healing Logics: Culture and Medicine in Modern Health Belief Systems. Utah State University Press.
  • Galanti, G. (2008). Caring for Patients from Different Cultures. University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Galambos, C. (2003). "Moving Cultural Diversity Toward Cultural Competence in Healh Care." Health and Social Work. 28(1): 3.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Health Belief System Theory (2012, March 29) Retrieved December 04, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Health Belief System Theory" 29 March 2012. Web. 04 December. 2023. <>