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The Use of the HIV Test: A Conflict Choice Approach

Author: ROBERT W. BROYLES, ARI MWACHOFI and AMIR A. KHALIQ
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 36 No. 3

The study introduces the “Conflict-Choice model”(C-C) as an analytic framework for studying consumer demand for health and healthcare. The proposed approach integrates the Theory of Consumer Behavior (TCB), the Investment Theory of Demand (ITD), and the Health Belief Model (HBM) into a single model that might be applied to a wide spectrum of health behavior and use of health services. Separating the episode of care into the two phases (patient initiated and physician dominated), the C-C model is limited to the individual’s decision to seek service. This phase is dominated by two conflicting and undesirable outcomes that the patient seeks to avoid. The first is discomfort or disutility that accompanies the use of care. The second is the discomfort of illness and a reduced ability to perform social and economic roles, an outcome that may result in a potential decline in income. In this conflict- choice situation, the interrelation between two undesirable conditions and related avoidance gradients result in a behavioral equilibrium.
The study applied this framework to the use or non-use of HIV tests. The analysis used the responses of 196,081 individuals in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) of 2003. The analyses supported the expectations based on the newly developed conflict-choice theoretical framework and support the adoption of policies that reduce the tendency to avoid care while increasing the avoidance of undesirable health outcomes.

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