Health is the most valuable asset that one can have and, therefore, understanding health and associated problems is crucial for acknowledging the critical concepts of health. When the individual is informed about underlying health concepts, he or she demonstrates the capacity to engage in self-care and better manage the potential diseases. The way one can define their health and health-related concerns directly impacts how patients can communicate their problems and needs to healthcare providers. Lay concepts of health are more “complex and multidimensional” as they are driven by socio-economic, cultural, spiritual, and individual interpretations and beliefs of health and illnesses (Cross, 2020, p. 63). Healthcare professionals must take into account patient’s individual understanding of the health issue to deal with it in the most successful way.
Health is considered a central, dynamic concept in nursing education and practice. Advanced practice nurses (APNs) are recommended to use a person-centered approach to explore their patients’ health concepts, which can further impact their self-care ability. APNs are expected to contribute to improved health outcomes. They include the “delivery of patient care, tailored patient education, improved continuity, coordination of care, and collaboration with other health professionals” (Bryant-Lukosius, Valaitis, Martin-Misener, Donald, Peña, and Brousseau, 2017, p. 5). The delivered quality of patient care and in-depth understanding of individual concepts of health are essential to enhanced patient self-care. Additionally, patients are more inclined to implement healthy lifestyle behaviors, which is an essential consequence of professional and patient-centered APNs’ care. Thus, nurses are obliged to care in such a manner to explore what the patient’s concept of health is to establish the rights goals that reflect that personal concept and individual aspirations.
The Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) articulated by Bandura is the theoretical model of health that is of particular interest to me. SCT explains human behavior within a three-way, reciprocal model based on the continuous interaction of personal aspects, environmental influences, and behavior of oneself. SCT is one of the most influential theories of health behavior that can be used as “the conceptual basis for behavioral interventions” for health-related outcomes (Martin, Rivera, Hekler, Riley, Buman, Adams, and Magann, 2018, p. 2). The primary constructs of SCT encompass observational learning, reinforcement, self-control, and self-efficacy of the individual. Medical professionals can use in-depth behavioral knowledge about their patients due to SCT to establish goals and specify rewards. Most importantly, they can promote patients’ self-monitoring and increased awareness of their health and diseases.
Bryant-Lukosius, D., Valaitis, R., Martin-Misener, R., Donald, F., Peña, L. M., & Brousseau, L. (2017). Advanced practice nursing: A strategy for achieving universal health coverage and universal access to health. Revista Latino-Americana de Enfermagem, 25(0), 1–11.
Cross, R. (2020). Understanding the importance of concepts of health. Nursing Standard, 2(35), 61–65.
Martin, C. A., Rivera, D. E., Hekler, E. B., Riley, W. T., Buman, M. P., Adams, M. A., & Magann, A. B. (2018). Development of a control-oriented model of Social Cognitive Theory for optimized mHealth behavioral interventions. IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology, 1–16.