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The occurrence of illness as a result of earlier treatment by a doctor, or other health care worker, for a previous illness.

(Communications theory) A theory in which the process by which an innovation spreads through society is identified. Typically this follows an ‘S’ curve, slowly at first, then more rapidly, and finally slowing down again. It is useful to health promotion as different social groups play different roles in the uptake of an innovation, and their identification and allegiance can play an important role in the eventual success of a programme. (See Innovation; Change agent; Pro-innovation bias; Acceptance variables.)

(Psychology) An unpredictable schedule of reinforcement (rewards) which may exert a powerful effect on behaviour. For example, when the discomfort and unpleasant consequences of binge drinking are interspersed with occasional euphoric and enjoyable experiences, drinking may be perceived as enjoyable and repeated.