Protection Motivation Theory

In Annotated Readings, Literature Review, Public Health Communication, Theories on June 11, 2008 by Jim Tagged: , , , ,

Block, L. G. and P. A. Keller (1998). “Beyond Protection Motivation: An Integrative Theory of Health Appeals.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 28(17): 1584-1608.

The authors combine Rogers’ Protection Motivation Theory (PMT) and Prochaska and DiClemente’s Transtheoretical Model to suggest an Integrated Public Health Communication Theory. The PMT states that there are four variables affecting the motivation of a person and these are perceptions of vulnerability, severity, response efficacy and self-efficacy. The transtheoritical theory traces its roots from clinical psychology and has six decision making stages. In combining the two theories, they suggested that people tend to have different levels of readiness to change due to perceptions of vulnerability, severity, response efficacy and self-efficacy.

Implications to Current Research
There is a possibility that this Integrated Public Health Communication Theory could be tested with regard to its relevance to animal health. The methodological methods could be adopted in my study. Another possibility is expanding this study and making it longitudinal in nature. Results of the knowledge, attitudes and practices survey conducted in Southeast Asia could be used as a baseline and a follow-up survey could be done by next year, this is after the implementation of a quasi-experiment. The quasi-experiment could test this theory in the field.

Valuable Quotations

  • “Rogers’ (1975, 1983) is one of the most popular of these theories [examining health-related behavioural change] because it explicitly incorporates the role of health-related messages in effecting behavioral change.” p. 1584
  • “Perceptions about these four factors [severity of an event, probability of the event’s occurrence, belief in the efficacy of the recommendations provided in the message, and belief that one has the ability to perform the recommendations] arouse protection motivation (as indexed by behavioral intentions), which in turn provides the incentive to seek a healthier behavior (Rogers, 1975, 1983). p. 1584
  • “… empirical studies of PMT fail to support Rogers’ (1975, 1983) premise that these components are equally important in determining behavioral intentions.” p. 1585

This has expanded the public health communication theory thereby making it more applicable in the field. Insights from this Integrated Public Health Communication Theory could be used in maximizing the effectiveness and efficiency of public health communication campaigns.


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