Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
Theories and methods of the social sciences as applied to health promotion. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.2, pp.142-148. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891998000800017.
We briefly describe herein those social science theories and methods that have slowly been incorporated into health promotion and disease prevention programs. They include the various stages of behavior change, social learning, community organization, spread of innovations, social marketing, and others. Such theories can be very useful for planning and implementing community programs as long as these are low in cost, have enough flexibility to satisfy the needs of target groups, respond to new information and to the suggestions of community members, show sensitivity to the local culture, and involve representatives from the community in all of their activities.