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Illness behaviour: An exploration of determinants


  • Gail Frankel, B.
  • Nuttall, Sandy


The paper examines role of social support, structural-environmental and perceptual variables in explaining variation in illness behaviour in a sample of 240 adults with impaired hearing. The specific behaviour examined is physician visits over a 12 month period. We find that previous experience with illness and perceived health status are important variables with respect to illness behaviour and that the relevance of these variables and social support vary considerably by level of psychological distress. While the addition of psychological distress as an explanatory variable makes little contribution, the variation in the power of the model to explain variation in behaviour across levels of distress is substantial. Our findings argue strongly for increased awareness of the role of social and psychological factors in illness behaviour, particularly among those who plan and deliver health care services.

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  • Gail Frankel, B. & Nuttall, Sandy, 1984. "Illness behaviour: An exploration of determinants," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 147-155, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:19:y:1984:i:2:p:147-155

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