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Health Educ Q. 1985 Fall;12(3):231-43.

Some notions about assumptions underlying health education.


By definition, the objective of health education is to change health behavior. One assumption underlying this objective is that changed health behaviors will result in improved health status. Both the objective and its assumption are based largely on experience with acute health problems. However, health education is now changing its focus towards chronic diseases. This paper examines a number of chronic disease health education studies. Investigation reveals that although there is often an improvement in health status, the associations between changed health behaviors and improved health status are not clear and at times do not appear to exist. In light of this evidence, the authors suggest that there is, in some cases, a need to reevaluate the assumptions that underlie health education and a need in health education programs to study factors other than, or in addition to, behavior change as mediators of health status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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