There are four levels of delay behavior: First, appraisal or time which is when a person considers a symptom as serious. Second, illness–the time between recognizing a symptom as illness and seeking treatment. Third, behavioral or the time between considering treatment and going forward with it. Finally, medical–the time between a person's appointment and receiving appropriate medical care. There are a number of likely causes to delay behavior such as: Poverty, lacking in or infrequent medical access, and personal affect. Some individuals cannot reasonably afford medical care so they engage in delay behavior to avoid financial burden. For some there's a complete lack of medical access or regular access, inhibiting engagement of proper medical care. Lastly, some have medical phobias or general sentiments which increase the likelihood of delay behaviors.
The following reasons can be identified why health care practitioners are effective agents of behavior change: Educated, public trust, and authority capacity. First, HPCs go through rigorous education and training which can be used to properly assess health risks and recommend advice for positive habit change and outcomes. Second, HPCs actively serve the public and build trust, so they are more likely to effectuate positive changes as they're trusted by patients. Lastly in conjunction with the other reasons, some people need or prefer to be told what to do; meanwhile HPCs are naturally in a position of authority. So when they advise patients to change diet or other lifestyle habits, they will sometimes be followed by virtue of their authority alone.
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