3 MIN READ | Health Psychology

How Can We Utilise a Complex System Within Health-Seeking Behaviour

Onah Caleb

Cite This
Onah Caleb, (2020, June 27). How Can We Utilise a Complex System Within Health-Seeking Behaviour. Psychreg on Health Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/health-seeking-behaviour/
Reading Time: 3 minutes


The pursuit for regaining health and healthy lifestyle is often hinged in avoiding sickness itself. Diseases can be treated the same way even when the circumstances of the sickness are different once it has been recognised. However, it is worthy of note that health-seeking behaviour begins as soon as there has been an occurrence of illness not when a severe symptoms of disease had already been noticed.

The multidimensional expansion of seeking for health to any extends beyond the narrow limits of healthcare, and encompassing the protective aspects is principally reliant on its health, workforce, and successful service operation. 

The panacea from the journey so far

What facilitates the use of health services and what influences people to behave differently in relation to their health has long been the focus of practitioners in the health sector.

Consequently, there had been large thoughts on utilisation of health services in both developed and developing countries as well as health seeking behaviour but majorly for me, two dominant approaches notable of note: the development of pathways models of health seeking behaviour, which tend to describe a series of steps an individual takes; and determinants of that behaviour, highlighting the factors influencing that journey.

Over the years, while there are diverse sculpts that had been propose to elucidate the different determinants of health-seeking behaviours among various aspect of human, Andersen’s An earlier study involved did one of such grouping of factors into three main categories: the healthcare, peripheral environment, and population distinctiveness; the individual’s health behaviour and adoption of the sick role are another. But this representation explicitly focuses on one’s health behaviour and it ignores the effect of social networks on the decision-making process

Re-situating health-seeking behaviour in the society

Worthy of note is just as smiled noted earlier that the incorporation of conventional or traditional means of appreciating how pharmaceutical drugs like amitriptyline, bupropion, or chlorpromazine works are very essential. The prospect of pharmaceutical drugs diverge through the act of tolerance from what is expected from traditional treatment; Whereas with traditional cure people tend to exhibit a lot of open-mindedness and permissiveness in order for the medication to start taking effect no matter the time duration, they will expect immediate effect of pharmaceutical drugs instance is long term illnesses such as smallpox or Tuberculosis, where people expect automatic recovery, which can direct them to discard management before it becomes effective.

There’s need to be extra receptive to the realities of health seeking behaviour, and increasingly, as some reasons why seeking health solution to health problems in developing countries is accepting to an extent unqualified healthcare providers and traditional medications as an significant source and perchance even as the main providers of care as they play a role to either improve or serves as motivation to others around the communities and state. Also, on the developments in biotechnological health check facilities, the same are said to support health-seeking behaviour.


There is a need for therapeutic analysis and affirmation for individuals, groups and communities that health seeking behaviour is not just a one off inaccessible phenomenon to be engaged.

It is part and parcel of a community’s distinctiveness in relation to peoples’ lives and family wellbeing, which is the result of an evolving merge of societal, private, civilising and pragmatic factors. Hence, it has a direct effect on the health of communities as are vital and to be taken into cognizant by all and sundry.

Just as the Health Systems Development Programme noted participation in association or community centred schemes has been demonstrated to have an indirect effect on the health seeking behaviour of individuals or persons needing help before or after an illness. Overall, looking at development in terms of organisation and system, and the technicalities of participation by both children and adults, there is a need in shifting focus from individuals to social groups, and to social embeddedness of such individuals’ actions to their own health.

There is a dear need of translating social conventions, cultural norms, and expectations, into a relative representation of how the structural preconditions of various health care systems around the world reinforce or contribute to the related set of troubles and challenges faced by individuals needing help as regards to their health.


Image credit: Freepik

Onah Caleb is a a research assistant in Benue State University (Nigeria). He runs the blog KaylebsThought.


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