When dealing with a disease, it is important to fully understand three concepts. In order to provide effective and clear prevention, agent, host, and environment are three factors that highlight potential causes of infection. In the previous pages, it is mentioned that these factors belong to the Epidemiological Triad (ET) (WHO, 2017). Using the ET in conjunction with Precaution Adoption Process Model (PAPM), it is possible to see if a person perceives an illness or disease as severe. It would also give an idea of the person’s perceived susceptibility and barriers are regarding the illness or disease (Science Direct, 2007).
The PAPM is composed of seven stages and requires different types of interventions, and information needed to advance varies depending on the current stage (Science Direct, 2007). The stages of PAPM include unaware of the issue, unengaged by the issue, deciding about action, decided not to act, decided to act, acting, and lastly maintenance (Science Direct, 2007). Stages 6 and 7, acting and maintenance respectively, are where people make changes to their behavior. Therefore, this model suggests that self-efficacy, a person’s confidence in abilities, is based on experience and not perception (Science Direct, 2007).
Using PAPM with ET in mind, an example such as HIV can be considered in more depth:
- Unaware of Issue: The person is unable to have an opinion on the specific danger. At this stage the danger isn’t known (University, 2008).
- The host (person) is not aware of the HIV (agent) in their environment.
- Unengaged by Issue: The person now has the knowledge of precaution behavior, but has no interest (University, 2008). This implies that overall perceived susceptibility is low.
- The host now has the means to be concerned about HIV warnings, but believe they aren’t going to be affected.
- Undecided about Acting: At this stage, a decision will be made based on beliefs and environment (University, 2008). This stage is where the host is finally engaged by a vector and exposed to the agent.
- The HIV virus has affected the host in their own environment and now are forced think about the next step to take.
- Decided Not to Act: this stage is reached when the overall consequence is not perceived to be severe enough to force an action (University, 2008).
- This outcome can look at as letting personal beliefs out weight the health risks. I.e., social norms may leave the host within a judged category.
- Decided to Act: choosing a precaution in order to treat/cure the host of the agent (University, 2008).
- Treatment within the host’s health environment of HIV is chosen and sought out. The patient realizes their belief that the HIV virus may harm the host. I.e., HIV can be deadly (HIV).
- Acting: performing health precaution (University, 2008).
- The performance of the chosen treatment.
- Maintenance: Keeping up with the precaution over time (University, 2008).
- Continual precaution takes to protect the host from any other external dangers.