Good Essay About Non-Nursing Theory Used By Nursing

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Health, Nursing, Behavior, Development, Patient, Psychology, Sociology, Breastfeeding

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2021/02/22

This Paper was prepared for_________ taught by___________

Introduction. Understanding of the people’s health behavior underlying reasons and knowledge of the health behavioral theories by nurses is essential to provide a patient-centered care. This paper focuses on the main concept of the integrated theory of health behavior change (ITHBC) by Polly Ryan (2009) and its implications for nursing practice.
Summary of the theory. The ITHBC (2009) was developed by Polly Ryan during her postdoctoral fellowship and focuses predominantly on the association between influencing the human’s health behavior and the development of the specific nursing interventions. It has integrated the findings of multiple theories of health behavioral change, self-regulation, social support and self-management of chronic illnesses. The core assumption of the ITHBC is that “behavior change is a dynamic, iterative process” (Ryan, 2009). The main triggers for the health pattern change are human desire and motivation, whereas self-reflection is a process facilitator, and positive social feedback\relationships “help to support and sustain change” (Ryan, 2009). The primary outcome of the health pattern change is healthy behavior itself; the secondary outcome is the improvement of overall health. To activate the ITHBC triggers, raising health awareness, changing beliefs, and promoting self-beliefs consistent with a healthy behavior, is essential. Encouraging constant self-monitoring and providing a positive social feedback for the people which “supports them to engage in preventative health behaviors” (Ryan, 2009) leads to stable healthy behavioral patterns. Collaboration between patients, their families and nurses can enhance social support.
The previous approach to health behavior change, in Roan’s (2009) understanfing, did not involve a patient as an active participant of the process. As a result of the lack of further support, the patient’s health behaviors were not maintained. The ITHBC, treating the patient as a key player in the process, focuses on goals congruence, finding the ways to reach the goals (e.g. to both manage the weight and increase the calcium intake in osteoporosis) and to sustain it by “promoting social facilitation” (Ryan, 2009). The health-based interventions may then be tailored to the patient specific needs and health goals.
Implications for practice. The ITHBC was successfully used by Ryan (2009) to develop an intervention for osteoporosis prevention, based on the initial assessment of women’s condition knowledge and health beliefs concurrently with the basic clinical assessment for risk factors. The women were encouraged to develop specific goals and got assistance (IT, clinical, nutritional) to achieve them. The self-management of calcium intake, physical activity and readiness to collaboration were evaluated as primary outcomes showing if the long-term goals had been achieved. As the modern approaches deem taking account of the human behavior prerequisites imperative for nurses (McCormack, B. & McCance,2006), the ITHBC concepts are widely used in nursing practice. E.g. the community nurses use them in the care of vulnerable groups (UN, 1991) basing the approach on health education and changing people health beliefs through assessing their health patterns and changing them through health motivation and goal setting (HP,2015). E.g. working with pregnant adolescents, the nurses assess their knowledge of detrimental impact of early pregnancy or substance abuse on their physical and psychological status (Lee, Clernon, Kollins, Prybol & Fuemeller, 2013) and guide them to create specific goals leading to assuming healthy full-scale adults’roles. Further community nurses facilitate social support to young mothers to enable them to maintain these roles. Generally, as the ITHBC provides “an explanation for a person's response to his/her condition” and indicates the ways to influence positive health behavior, it also “enhances achievement of positive patient outcomes” (Ryan, 2009). 
Conclusion. The ITHBC facilitates implementation of theory on changing health behavior in everyday nursing clinical practice offering simple and patient-focused ways of fostering the behavioral changes, supporting the healthy behavioral patterns, promoting self-monitoring and providing social support for the patients to engage in the healthy behavior. The ITHBC -based nursing interventions can lead to improved health status of the patient and enhance the patient-centered care.


McCormack, B. & McCance, T.V. (2006). Development of a framework for person-centered nursing. J Adv Nurs., 56(5), 472–479. 
Lee, C., McClernon, J., Kollins, S.H., Prybol, K., &. Fuemmeler, B.F. (2013). Childhood Economic Strains in Predicting Substance Use in Emerging Adulthood: Mediation Effects of Youth Self-Control and Parenting Practices.J. Pediatr. Psychol., 38(10), 1130-1143.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion(HP) (2015). Healthy People 2020. Retrieved from:
Ryan, Polly. (2009). Integrated Theory of Health Behavior Change.Background and Intervention Development. Clin Nurse Spec., 23(3), 161–172.
UN Children’s Fund (1991). A manual on community-based monitoring. Manila, UNICEF

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