Author(s): Alonzo AA
Abstract Share this page
Abstract American medicine faces many contradictions and dilemmas. This is especially the case with regard to preventive health behavior. This paper explores the effects of several issues, contradictions and dilemmas on the American experience with primary preventive health behavior. These issues include: individualism, victim blaming, therapeutic nihilism, the over abundance of health information, America as a culture of risk takers, and the dilemma of the jungle vs the zoo. Four types of health behavior are defined. The first type of health behavior is the primary prevention of disease, defect, injury or disability. The second type is detection of asymptomatic disease, injury and defect. Third, is the promotion of enhanced levels of health, wellness and quality of life. And the fourth, at a more societal level, protective behaviors to make environmental transactions safe from disease, injury, defect and disability. These four types of health behavior are each explored in relation to societal values, technology and economics to determine which of these facilitate or impede health behavior at both the individual and societal levels.
This article was published in Soc Sci Med
and referenced in Journal of Community & Public Health Nursing