The existing models of health stress different constituents and contributing factors of health: consequently, the views adopted by representatives of various approaches on the nature and methods of improving individual and public health vary too. For example, the biomedical model of health views health as the absence of diseases or disorders. Such view implies that development of health care facilities and methods to help people cope with their health problems and improving the quality of health care in every possible way is the most effective way to promote better individual and public health. On the contrary, the socio-environmental model of health views health as the sum of certain social, economic and environmental determinants which provide either barriers or incentives to the health of individuals and groups. Consequently, identifying and removing the barriers while identifying and reinforcing the incentives is likely to be adopted as the primary goal within this approach. And finally, the behavioural model views health as the outcome of correct healthy lifestyle choices: the primary goal of health promotion within the framework of behavioural model is to help individuals and groups change their lifestyle to reach a state of optimal health which can be defined as "...a balance of physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual health" (O'Donnel 1989: 5). The change can be facilitated through a variety of actions to increase the population awareness and create an environment that supports good health practices.
The problem of using various models for maximizing health of individuals and communities is not new to the scholarly literature. A growing body of empirical evidence is available to support the notion that effectiveness of health promotion initiative or campaign largely depends upon the correct choice of model. The existing literature in the field supports the assumption that there is probably no universally applicable framework: each has its own limitations and strengths. This paper will provide a helpful insight into the behavioural model, namely the variation of behavioural model known as the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TMC).
The choice is determined by several factors. Firstly, TMC is the most widely used and popular model in the psychology of health and the literature exploring various aspects of this model is abundant (Horwath, 1999). Secondly, practical effectiveness and applicability of TMC to a wide range of complex/simple contexts and health behaviours (e.g. weight control, smoking cessation, reduction of dietary fat, increasing physical activity levels, quitting drugs, ect) is well documented (Prochaska, et al., 1994). Thirdly, TMC is relatively simple model to understand as compared to many other models.
The definitions of 'health' fall into three major groups:
Cultural: health is a standard of physical and mental well being appropriate to a particular society;
Normative: health as an fixed level, or an ideal physical and ment