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MGT1022 : Individual Management of Behavior : Indigenous Perspectives

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You will investigate how an individual’s dental condition, and the required treatment and management, can be linked to the models of behaviour change. You will be provided with a case study.

How the adental conditions, treatment and management of this patient is linked to the models of behaviour change and indigenous background. You must use professional language.
• Indigenous perspectives
• Behaviour analysis


Behaviour analysis

Health is considered as a normal state of body and mind where people feel free from disease, illness, injury or any kind of discomfort (Rogers & Pilgrim, 2014). According to Lowe & OLaighin (2014) studies, WHO describe health as a state of physical and mental well-being that make a person compatible with its social surroundings. As per Giles, Robalino, McColl, Sniehotta & Adams (2014) studies, in contemporary medicine, health behaviour is considered as one of the most important elements of health and well-being because medicine these days involves a personalised and customised approach. Therefore, the impact of individual health behaviour impacts the effectiveness of medicine modified for a particular individual health. Lowe & OLaighin (2014) explains that professional’s these days pay attention to individual health behaviour that then develops their plan of treatment as per their individual requirements, situations, suggestions and comfort.

This can be explained with respect to case study patient; Billy who is suffering from oral health issues getting indulged in treatment. Billy is complaining about continuous pain in the ULHS region with findings of poor oral hygiene, supra presence and gingival inflammation. In the treatment session with Billy, it was observed that he is careless towards his health. Billy does not perform proper oral hygiene, he is taking panadol to manage tooth pain further he was least aware of his rheumatic heart disease and was not taking any medicine to manage his disease. This health behaviour indicates a careless attitude of Billy towards his health. Hence, Billy health behaviour has implemented a negative impact on his health. Further, the clinician needs to keep his health behaviour issues in mind while developing his treatment plan.

As per the Health Belief Model, the person’s health belief about problems, perceived action, barriers to action and self-efficacy develops their health-promoting behaviour. They work as stimuli to trigger health-promoting behaviour (Rogers & Pilgrim, 2014). In Billy’s case, his careless attitude shall work as a barrier in applying health promotional behaviour. However, Billy was observed positive and calm in his attitude while getting indulged in the treatment process. Further, he was co-operative and understanding towards clinician about the treatment process. This optimistic attitude shall work as self-efficacy to trigger a positive health promoting behaviour in Billy’s case.

Further, as per Billy’s behavioural analysis, professional’s can implement Protection motivation theory to improve his treatment process. As per this theory, people develop protection based on the severity of a situation, occurrence probability, vulnerability and self-efficacy (Rogers & Pilgrim, 2014). In Billy’s case, the severity of his present situation can work as motivation factor that professional’s can utilise to improve his treatment process. According to Lowe & OLaighin (2014) studies, Theory of planned behaviour allows a link between beliefs and behaviour that can help to shape the person’s intentions. In Billy’s case, professionals can link their beliefs with Billy’s intention to get proper treatment that will generate a workable treatment plan.

Indigenous perspectives

In the provided case, Billy is an Indigenous Australian belonging to ATSI community, which makes understanding his indigenous perspective as an important part of treatment. According to Valeggia & Snodgrass (2015) studies, indigenous Australians have been vulnerable to health crisis, suffering and struggle since ancient times. This makes ATSI community a bit sensitive and pessimist towards understanding healthcare process. Therefore, professionals highly need to understand the indigenous perspective of their patients to provide a culturally safe environment, develop relationship and effective partnership treatment process.

In the present case, factors affecting Billy’s perspective are his low health literacy, family influence, cultural background and lack of access to dental care. In his clinical session, Billy indicated that he is not taking medication for his rheumatic heart disease, poor oral hygiene and he is taking panadol to manage his tooth pain. These actions indicate that he is having very low health literacy. Further, he is practicing the second year of carpentry apprenticeship at age of 17 indicating a lack of strong educational background. This confirms the presence of low health literacy in Billy’s case. Presently Billy is visiting clinic all alone; his family was forced to leave Northern Territory due to an inappropriate action performed by his brother. This indicates lacking good family support or influence in his treatment care process.

Further, Billy belongs to the indigenous community, which is considered unequal for many terms in society. This also influences the health care rights and care provided to indigenous population in a negative manner. According to Smylie & Firestone (2016) studies, Conflict theory indicates that social inequality is a critical factor that initiates inadequate health care for disadvantaged social backgrounds. The healthcare system has implemented this social discrimination for their personal benefit (increasing income) involving social problems in medical problems. Therefore, in the present case of Billy, his cultural belonging of being an Indigenous Australian is a critical factor that can influence his treatment process.

Lastly, irrespective of social inequality, the indigenous population also hold certain cultural beliefs that harness or interfere with the effective treatment process. Indigenous people consider conventional medicine as a bad option over Ayurveda, they are afraid of conventional medical treatment techniques (superstitions); they are unaware (lack of education) about updated medical procedures etc. (Greenwood, De Leeuw, Lindsay & Reading, 2015). These cultural loopholes create a barrier in the treatment process. Hence, being indulged in the treatment process of indigenous person any Clinician needs to take care of their indigenous cultural aspect in the treatment environment generating positive results (Gibson et al. 2015). In the present case, as Billy is also an Indigenous Australian, therefore, the professional involved in his treatment need to consider his cultural background as a part of the treatment process, further, modifying his cultural perspective it in a positive manner to generate effective treatment and care.



Greenwood, M., De Leeuw, S., Lindsay, N. M., & Reading, C. (Eds.). (2015). Determinants of Indigenous Peoples' Health. Canadian Scholars’ Press: Canada.

Rogers, A., & Pilgrim, D. (2014). A sociology of mental health and illness. McGraw-Hill Education: UK.


Gibson, O., Lisy, K., Davy, C., Aromataris, E., Kite, E., Lockwood, C., ... & Brown, A. (2015). Enablers and barriers to the implementation of primary health care interventions for Indigenous people with chronic diseases: a systematic review. Implementation Science, 10(1), 71.

Giles, E. L., Robalino, S., McColl, E., Sniehotta, F. F., & Adams, J. (2014). The effectiveness of financial incentives for health behaviour change: systematic review and meta-analysis. PloS one, 9(3), e90347.

Lowe, S. A., & OLaighin, G. (2014). Monitoring human health behaviour in one's living environment: a technological review. Medical engineering & physics, 36(2), 147-168.

Smylie, J., & Firestone, M. (2016). The health of indigenous peoples. D. Raphael (3rd ed.) Social determinants of health: Canadian perspective, 434-469.

Valeggia, C. R., & Snodgrass, J. J. (2015). Health of indigenous peoples. Annual Review of Anthropology, 44, 117-135.

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