Summary of Study Session 5

In Study Session 5 you have learned that:

  1. This session has helped you look at some of the ways that people consider health and illness. This will be important for your work in the community because understanding these theories and concepts will help you think more closely about your work and how people behave when they are ill.
  2. Understanding health behaviours is often the key to delivering health messages that are effective and that will improve the health of your community. This session has also discussed the importance of using theories and models in your health education activities.
  3. The naturalistic explanation is based on medical beliefs and assumes that illness is due to impersonal, mechanistic causes in nature that can be potentially understood and cured by using scientific methods. 
  4. The personalistic explanation for the cause of illness is a traditional method in which illness is seen as being due to acts or wishes of other people or supernatural beings and forces. 
  5. The Health Belief Model assumes that the most important determinants of people’s health-related behaviours are their beliefs and perceptions.
  6. Diffusion of Innovations is a theory of how, why, and at what rate new ideas and technology spread through cultures.
  7. An adopter category is a classification of individuals within a social system on the basis of innovativeness. A total of five categories of adopters are used: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards.
  8. Opinion leaders are personalities in a given community who are influential in spreading either positive or negative information about an innovation.

5.4.3  Adopter categories

Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 5