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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


RICOU, Miguel et al. Communication and behaviour change. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2004, vol.5, n.2, pp.131-144. ISSN 1645-0086.

The aim of this study it's to try to learn more about the behaviour changing processes. We know that for prevention we need to inform people. On the other hand, knowing the facts is not enough to change behaviours. So, in primary health care, an important prevention field, what are the best ways to promote the adoption of healthy behaviours? Using as example the alcohol consumption during pregnancy, we've tried to access the knowledge of 295 pregnant women, followed in several primary health care centres in the north of Portugal, about the effects of alcohol during pregnancy, as well as about their drinking habits. We also asked about the sources of the information, assuming that the GP should be the best person to inform these women on how to improve their knowledge. Although this seems to be true, we didn't find a desirable change of the drinking patterns. We believe that, beside the addictive nature of alcohol, the lack of a trust relationship to discuss with people about their habits and their difficulties to change them is one of the major causes that explain the changing behaviour resistance. The promotion of specialists to work in the primary health practices, like health psychologists, it's one of the solutions proposed by the authors.

Keywords : Addictive behaviours; Communication; Drinking habits; Health Psychology; Pregnancy; Prevention; Primary health care.

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