The common-sense model of illness representation: Theoretical and practical considerations

Abstract

This article focuses on several areas. After reviewing the most commonly used approaches in the study of health behaviors, (e.g., the medical model, the health belief model, and the theory of reasoned action) the common-sense model is presented as an alternative. By presenting evidence across a wide range of illness domains, we demonstrate the usefulness of the common-sense, self-regulatory approach. We then discuss the importance of the common-sense model for health research among minorities. We conclude the article with examples of the operationalization of illness representations in past research and directions for future research.

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Correspondence to Michael A. Diefenbach.

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Diefenbach, M.A., Leventhal, H. The common-sense model of illness representation: Theoretical and practical considerations. J Soc Distress Homeless 5, 11–38 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02090456

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Key words

  • health behavior
  • cross-cultural research