Consumerist behaviors in Health Care
The purposes of the descriptive study, "Consumerist Behaviors in Health Care," included (1) validation of the instrument, the Consumer Behavior Index, designed to measure the extent to which behaviors used in health care interactions could be considered consumerist in nature and effective in producing healthy outcomes, and (2) identification through the use of factor analysis of the concepts under which each of the behaviors could be categorized. In addition, the following hypotheses were explored: (1) The mean score on the Consumerist scale of the Consumer Behavior Index of individuals 65 years of age or older are lower than individuals of other ages. (2) There is a positive correlation in the mean scores of individuals of the same age group on the Consumer Behavior Index and the Attitudinal Measure of Challenge as described by Haug and Lavin (1983). (3) There is a positive correlation between the individual's score on the Consumer Behavior Index and his or her perceived sense of coherence. (4) There is a significant difference between those behaviors which are considered to be consumerist in nature and those which are judged to be effective in producing health.
The theoretical framework which directed the research was the Salutogenic Model of Health by Antonovsky (1982). The sample of convenience was composed of 136 adult recipients of health care drawn from two AARP groups, students at a university and faculty from a private school in the Arlington, Richardson and Denton, Texas, areas.
The major findings include the following: (1) The reliability coefficient for the Consumerist Behavior Index was 0.78 for the Consumerist scale and 0.73 for the Health scale. (2) Five concepts of Consumerism were defined, tentatively named Participatory, Interrogatory, Avoidance, Passive and Interpersonal Consumerism. (3) There was no significant correlation between an individual's sense of coherence and score on the Consumer Behavior Index but education was positively correlated with the score. (4) There was a significant difference between behaviors which are considered to be consumerist in nature and those which are judged to produce health.