Summary of Study Session 4

In Study Session 4 you have learned that:

  1. Primary prevention includes those preventive measures that come before the onset of illness or injury and before the disease process begins. Examples include immunization and taking regular exercise to prevent health problems developing in the future.
  2. Secondary prevention includes those preventive measures that lead to early diagnosis and prompt treatment of a disease, illness or injury. This should limit disability, impairment or dependency and prevent more severe health problems developing in the future.
  3. Tertiary prevention includes those preventive measures aimed at rehabilitation following significant illness. At this level health educators work to retrain, re-educate and rehabilitate the individual who has already had an impairment or disability.
  4. Health education can be applied at all levels of prevention. Health educators can be of great help in bringing about gains from preventive interventions.
  5. Before identifying the various determinants of human behaviour, the following assessments need to be done: social diagnosis, epidemiological diagnosis, educational diagnosis, and environmental and behavioural diagnosis.
  6. Three kinds of behavioural determinants have been identified: predisposing factors, enabling factors and reinforcing factors.
  7. Predisposing factors are any characteristics of a person or population that motivates behaviour prior to the occurrence of that behaviour, for example their knowledge, beliefs, values and attitudes, and their level of self-efficacy.
  8. Enabling factors are characteristics of the environment that facilitate action and any skills or resources that are required to carry out a specific health behaviour, for example accessibility, availability or specific skills.
  9. Reinforcing factors are rewards or punishments following, or anticipated as a consequence of, a health-related behaviour. They serve to strengthen the motivation for behaviour. These may include positive or negative influences from influential people such as the person’s family, peers or significant people in the community.

4.3.3  Reinforcing Factors

Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 4