Health belief systems in perspective


  • Sally Thorne RN PhD

    1. Associate Professor, University of British Columbia School of Nursing, T-206 2211 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 2B5, Canada
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The author adopts a critical stance toward the assumptions, beliefs and behaviours underlying western biomedical tradition as it is enacted within the health care arena, in this paper On the basis of a cross-cultural comparison of how health belief systems depict the nature of health, the nature of illness and the role of healers, this paper will analyse the degree to which traditions other than western biomedicine seem to influence much of our decision making and behaviour as practitioners and recipients of health care Thus, locating our relationship to biomedical thought within the context of non-dominant belief systems provides an unusual angle from which to evaluate critically the way we think and behave In concluding that western health beliefs are powerfully influenced by traditions far beyond biomedical ideology, the author raises implications for nursing's future directions as active participants in a global health movement