GRADUATE STUDIES IN PUBLIC HEALTH
INTRODUCTION TO CANCER PREVENTION
ASSIGNMENT 1 - ESSAY
Word limit: 1500 words
Improving dietary choices, increasing physical activity participation, decreasing smoking and altering other lifestyle choices can reduce risk for cancer. Various models have been developed in health psychology that describe the variables that influence these behaviours. Evaluate the contribution of two social cognition models to understanding and improving ONE lifestyle behaviour related to cancer risk. Identify evidence (in addition to the readings) to support your argument. (Maximum word length: 1500 words)
These will be used for marking. Your assignment should comply with the following criteria:
• Provides evidence of well-formed arguments that provide both an accurate description AND critical evaluation of two models in relation to one type of cancer prevention behaviour.
• The assignment should:• Use a logical structure that includes an introduction, summary of evidence, well-formed arguments, evaluation and a conclusion
• Use evidence to support assertions
• Comply with academic standards of legibility and referencing
• Avoid plagiarism at all costs
• Use clear presentation with accurate spelling, grammar, sentence and
• Comply with word length (1500 words)
Health model in the cessation of smoking
Cancer is a disease condition in which some of the body cells multiplying abnormally and damaging the tissues around the cells. It can spread throughout the body and cause further damage. In Australia, the increasing incidence of cancer is drawing attention for implementing new strategies. In 2014, approximately 0.12 million new cases of cancer have been reported in Australia (Cancer Australia, 2019). The death rate in 2016 due to cancer was 45,782 which were increased in 2018 to approximately 48,586 (Cancer Australia, 2019). It can be assumed that in the future, one male in four and one women in six will be dying due to cancer in Australia. The rate of cancer will be increased with the age of males and females in Australian society.
Cancer is a disease which can be a result of faulty human habits and behaviour. Therefore, positive changes in behaviour can reduce the risk of cancer development in individuals. It has been isolated that use of tobacco or habit of smoking can increase the risk of cancer and death related to the disease. The study recognised that the use of tobacco can increase the chances of lung, larynx, oesophagus, throat, liver and different kind of cancers (National Cancer Institute, 2017).
Smoking is the prime cause of cancer in the UK. Thus, chemical substances present in smoking can enter into the blood stream and affects the entire body system. The body system is unable to cope up with the harmful chemicals and precipitate illness. It has been isolated that DNA in the human body can control the behaviour of the cells. Therefore, tobacco can damage DNA and cause cancer. For example, benzo pyrene is the chemical substances present in tobacco can damage the DNA responsible for protecting the cells from cancers. Furthermore, a harmful chemical in tobacco can affect the cleaning system of the lung and blood. Consumption of alcohol along with tobacco is increasing the risk in many folds. The individuals with smoking and drinking habits are developed cancer around 3 times more likely compared to others (Cancer Research UK, 2018).
The Theory of Planned Behaviour
The theory of planned behaviour can predict the individual’s intention to engage in a specific behaviour at a specific time. The theory beliefs, that people have the ability to exert self control on a specific behaviour. The prime component of the model is behavioural intent and intention which is influenced by the attitude. Therefore, it can be used for predicting and explaining a wide range of health behaviours and intention of smoking (Alanazi, Lee, Dos Santos, Job & Bahjri, 2017). As per TPB, the behavioural achievement is dependent on motivation and ability. The model diagram was developed by Ajzen and Fishbein. As per TPB, a strong policy against smoking in the workplace and public areas can control the incidence of smoking (Cleverism, 2019). It can influence behaviour control of the individuals and help in smoking cessation. The model believes that if the attitude and subjective norms are positive then it can resolve the problem and individuals can behave expected manners. The close monitoring of the model suggested that perceived behavioural control cannot cease the intention which has already developed but still can affect the behaviour
TPB adds the variable of perceived behavioural control in individuals. As per the model three types of cognition are determining the intent to initiate and accomplish particular behavioural changes. The cognitions are behavioural, normative and control beliefs. Therefore, behavioural beliefs are dependent on subjective assessment of the individual. For example, smoking is likely to continue if it is perceived as having benefits then value the benefits. Thus, change requires negative perceptions and realization of a negative outcome. Furthermore, normative beliefs are smoker’s perception of the others have about their behaviour. Normative beliefs based on the concept that smoker desires to comply with other wishes and change their behaviour (Karam-Hage et.al.,2016).
The subjective norm (perceived social pressure) is the main component in normative beliefs. It has been observed that perceived pressure from family and friends for quitting smoking can increase the environmental restrictions which likely to help in quitting. In addition, the motivational approach can also help individuals. Control beliefs replicate the degree of perceived behaviour control which facilitates or impedes behavioural changes. Furthermore, high perceived behavioural control can develop an accurate perception of the individuals. Thus, the affected individuals have the skills and resources to change their behaviour. Therefore, the identification of behavioural control barriers can help in successful behaviour change. Smokers can elevate their perceived control by fining the resources and encouragement which also increase their sense of control. Behavioural intervention and self help can increase behavioural control in individuals. In this respect, smoker can create a realistic goal which can reduce their number of cigarette intake per day. In addition, increase sense of control can help in quitting (Furrukh, 2013). The perceived control can increased by observing the success of the others and applying relaxation techniques which can manage the negative thoughts related to quitting.
Thus, three types of cognition interact to produce the construction of intention which replicates the readiness of the individuals to practice a specific behaviour. Study on smoking behaviour using the process of TPB identified that the model can predict the intention to the smoke. As per the opinion of Hanson, attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behaviour control in Afro-American adolescent females predicated their intention to smoking. Thus, attitude is considered as the strongest predictor of smoking. TPB basically focus on behavioural control and norms which can be used for the cessation intervention process. Conversely, the model cannot include other variables like cultural and demographical factors which are essential for cessation. Furthermore, it is not considering the perceived risk, unlike HBM. The limitation of the model is indicating that it assumes the individuals have the opportunities and resources to change their desirable behaviour regardless of their intention. The model cannot account other variables in behavioural intention and motivation. In addition, the model does not account the environmental and economic factors which can influence the personal intention. However, TPB has positive utility in public health compared to HBM. In the past few years, researchers have using several techniques to make it more integrated model in public health.
Health Belief Model (HBM)
It is a psychological model attempt to explain and predict the health behaviour of the individuals. It is basically focused on attitudes and beliefs. It was developed in the 1950s by Hochbaum, Rosenstock and Kegels. As per the model the individuals can take health-related actions if they consider that the negative impact of smoking can be avoided by a cessation and having positive expectation on the process of change and taking the process with positive attitudes (Health Communication, 2019). HBM is an effective measure for changing and challenging the habitual unhealthy practice lie smoking.
HBM is changing the behaviour of the individuals by altering the perceptions about the behaviour. In this respect, several motivational actions have been carried out for motivating the individuals and increasing their willingness to change their present smoking behaviour. Therefore, cessation smoking based on HBM requires a current assessment of the smoker’s vulnerability towards tobacco dependency and identified the severity of the outcomes related to smoking (Sharifirad et al., 2014). Perceived severity is explaining as the beliefs of the smoker that smoking will precipitate medical and social consequence in their life. In addition, susceptibility is perceived risk for developing the health condition related to smoking. Therefore, susceptibility and severity are considered a perceived threat. As per HBM, the probability for quitting smoking can increase if perceived threat increase.
HBM is considering the personal benefit of the individuals and influences their decisions. The chance of quit is increased if smoker understands that smoking has a negative aspect and quitting can benefit them. In addition, smokers should realise the fact that intervention can be efficacious for them and reduce the treatment burden. HBM can introduce an open discussion of a barrier for quitting the tobacco habits and development of realistic strategies can help the smoker in their reinforcement. The model is not discriminating between the sexes in cessation treatment. Conversely, the perception and decision consideration can be different for both sexes. Studies reveal that women were perceived as more smoking risk compared to men; however, they have less benefit and more problem with the cessation of smoking. Thus, smoking is considered as complex behaviour which is often influenced by internal factors and external factors along with the individual’s belief. Therefore, HBM is focused on the internal determinants and c unable to address the other component of quitting.
The limitation of HBM indicating that the model is not considering the personal attitude, belief of the individuals which control the acceptance of health behaviour in individuals. In addition the model is not considered the habitual behaviours of the person which can help in decision making process and proper intervention. The model is not considered the environmental and economical aspects which can interfere in development of health behaviour. The model assumes that everyone has equal amounts of opportunities and information about the illness.