Health Consciousness and Attitude towards Preventive Healthcare in India – An Empirical Study
Health consciousness is about making health a priority, being aware of one’s health and any changes thereabout and a willingness to take actions that help in maintaining health. Preventive healthcare includes a gamut of measures that are taken to prevent illnesses and diseases that ranges from diagnostic medical practices to managing one’s lifestyle. The scales that are used to measure health consciousness and related concepts are developed and tested in the West and there is no such scale that fits the demographic and cultural context of India. The objectives of this study were to conceptualize a health consciousness scale that is relevant to the Indian context and to examine the influence of health consciousness on attitude towards preventive healthcare. This was a quantitative study that was carried out in India in June 2020. Sample size was 213. Items to be included in the scale were derived based on review of existing literature. Confirmatory factor analysis was used for data reduction. A series of principal component factor analyses using Varimax yielded 12 scale items that loaded onto 3 factors – health involvement, health responsibility and health awareness. Scale items were tested for validity and reliability - measures tested include Cronbach’s alpha, composite reliability, discriminant validity and AVE. Structural equation modelling was used to test the effect of these 3 factors on attitude towards preventive healthcare. It was found that all the three factors have a direct and positive effect on attitude towards preventive healthcare. This study has great implications for hospital managers. Health consciousness can be an effective segmentation variable in identifying target group for marketing preventive healthcare in India.
Keywords: Health consciousness, Preventive healthcare, Health involvement, Health responsibility, Health awareness