Health Belief Model (HBM)
The Health Belief Model (HBM) is one of the first theories
of health behavior.
It was developed in the 1950s by a group of U.S. Public
Health Service social psychologists who wanted to explain
why so few people were participating in programs to prevent
and detect disease.
HBM is a good model for addressing problem behaviors that
evoke health concerns (e.g., high-risk sexual behavior and
the possibility of contracting HIV) (Croyle RT, 2005)
The health belief model proposes that a person's
health-related behavior depends on the person's perception
of four critical areas:
the severity of a potential illness,
the person's susceptibility to that illness,
the benefits of taking a preventive action, and
the barriers to taking that action.
is a popular model applied in nursing, especially in
issues focusing on patient compliance and preventive
health care practices.
model postulates that health-seeking behaviour is
influenced by a person’s perception of a threat posed by a
health problem and the value associated with actions aimed
at reducing the threat.
HBM addresses the relationship between a person’s beliefs
and behaviors. It provides a way to understanding and
predicting how clients will behave in relation to their
health and how they will comply with health care
THE MAJOR CONCEPTS
AND DEFINITIONS OF THE HEALTH PROMOTION MODEL
six major concepts in HBM:
or modifying factors
refers to a person’s perception that a health problem is
personally relevant or that a diagnosis of illness is
even when one recognizes personal susceptibility, action
will not occur unless the individual perceives the
severity to be high enough to have serious organic or
refers to the patient’s belief that a given treatment will
cure the illness or help to prevent it.
refers to the complexity, duration, and accessibility and
accessibility of the treatment.
includes the desire to comply with a treatment and the
belief that people should do what.
include personality variables, patient satisfaction, and
Is health behaviour that rational?
Its emphasis on the individual (HBM ignores social and
·The absence of a role for emotional factors such as fear
Alternative factors may predict health behaviour, such as
outcome expectancy (whether the person feels they will be
healthier as a result of their behaviour) and self-efficacy
(the person’s belief in their ability to carry out
preventative behaviour) (Seydel et al. 1990; Schwarzer 1992.
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- Croyle RT. Theory at a Glance: Application to Health
Promotion and Health Behavior (Second Edition). U.S.
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of Health, 2005.