What Type of Behavior Does the Service Require?

The related behaviors may vary with the type of service. For instance, services that are rarely needed or tied to a unique event may be difficult for clients to adopt because they are not part of their day or because they may forget. Typically, behaviors related to health services fall into the following three main categories - each with its own set of barriers:

  • One-time: Services that require one-time behaviors (for example, one service visit or clinical procedure, facility-based delivery) with long-term or permanent results (for example, inserting an IUD, tubal ligation, male circumcision).
  • Repeated but finite: Services that require more than one visit or action but have a definite end point (for example, childhood immunizations, cancer treatments, TB DOT, IPT for pregnant mothers).
  • Permanent lifestyle changes: Services that require a behavior to be sustained in the long term, or forever, to be effective (for example, HIV treatment, oral contraceptives, sleeping under nets).

Behaviors can also be affected if they require prior planning, as in a facility-based delivery. It is important to consider which type of behavior the service requires and then to look at the categories of determinants (environmental, knowledge/skills, and ideational) and determine which are most important to address through service communication.