The Roundtable Discussion (RTD) on Health Beyond Health Care: Role of Social Science was held last November 25, 2014 at Hotel Jen, Manila. The RTD was organized by the National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines through its Social Sciences Division (SSD).
This RTD was conducted in preparation for the upcoming Annual Scientific meeting (ASM) in July next year, which will focus on non-communicable diseases. Academician Michael L. Tan, focal person of the RTD and chancellor of the University of the Philippines Diliman, explained the involvement of Social Sciences in health care and the topic of the RTD, which is on behavior change theories in relation to women’s health and with focus on tobacco use.
Dr. Clarissa C. David, assistant professor at the Department of Communications Research, College of Mass Communication, University of the Philippines Diliman, discussed Behavior Change Theories in Relation to Women’s Health. According to her, when it comes to behavior change, beliefs matter more than knowledge, specifically beliefs about the behavior and about normative pressures. Women in particular, are affected by normative constraints in a culture or society. Self-efficacy is also an important factor in changing behavior, and women serve as conduits to children’s health because they take charge of their family, specifically their children. Further, she added that data collection is a significant step to get the messages on health across their audiences.
Academician Tan talked about “Fear Tactics, Threats and Nagging: Behavior Change Theories with Focus on Tobacco Use”. He presented psychological models on behavior change, with reference to foreign studies. According to him, there is a need to nag but psychology models show that it cannot be overdone because it gives a feeling of disempowerment to the individual.
Acd. Antonio Miguel L. Dans, member of the Health Sciences Division, and focal person of the 37th ASM, gave comments on the discussions of Dr. David and Academician Tan. He said that lifestyle is an adaptation to the society that we built. Acd. Dans stated the need to quantify local problems and effectiveness of local interventions for policy recommendations and for research proposals on health.
National Scientist Gelia T. Castillo, member of the SSD, delivered a synthesis of the discussions. National Scientist Mercedes B. Concepcion, chair of the SSD, formally closed the RTD by echoing Acd. Dans’ statement about the significance of local studies in the formulation of policy recommendations and thanking all the resource persons and participants. (Aislynn Fabiola G. Manuel)