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Health Behavior Change and Treatment AdherenceEvidence-based Guidelines for Improving Healthcare$
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Leslie Martin, Kelly Haskard-Zolnierek, and M. Robin DiMatteo

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195380408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195380408.001.0001

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Persuading and Motivating Positive Health Behaviors

Persuading and Motivating Positive Health Behaviors

(p.24) 2 Persuading and Motivating Positive Health Behaviors
Health Behavior Change and Treatment Adherence

Leslie R. Martin

Kelly B. Haskard-Zolnierek

M. Robin DiMatteo

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the factors that influence people to initially adopt, and then to pursue, a health-related goal. These include things such as social comparisons, emotions (e.g., fear or inspiration), logical reasoning, pressure from others, and a sense of self-efficacy. The most appropriate uses of upward and downward comparisons are examined, and the importance of one’s sense of competence and self-esteem when setting goals is discussed. The elements of persuasive messages (and messengers) are described, along with suggestions for how healthcare providers might make their own communications with patients more compelling. Recognizing teachable moments is important, as is knowing the unique characteristics of the patient in order to target persuasive messages most effectively. Factors that influence perseverance, such as expectations, optimism, self-efficacy, social support, and perceptions of benefits and costs are also evaluated.

Keywords:   social comparison, self-efficacy, self-esteem, persuasion, teachable moment, optimism, social support

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