1. Discuss the concepts and sub concepts of the theory with clarity and simplicity.
2. Describe the generality of the theory and how it is applied broadly across the culture. Give examples that support your view.
3. Discuss the impact and continuing influence or predictability for further development.
According to Wills (2015), the health belief theory explains that the involvement or lack of involvement in behaviours that promote health is triggered by beliefs and factors that include perceived benefits for undertaking the action, severity of health problem , a cue or stimulus for taking the action and self-efficacy in taking the action.
1. The health belief model has six concepts as described below
The perceived susceptibility refers to the assessment of an individual in acquiring the disease or the health condition (Walker & Jackson, 2015).The health belief model asserts that individual who conceives themselves as more susceptible to acquiring a certain health problem will engage in behaviors that aim at reducing the risk of acquiring the health condition (Walker & Jackson, 2015) .The theory also explains that the individual who perceives themselves to be at a lower risk of contracting the health problem are likely to involve themselves in risky and unhealthy behaviors and do not take the necessary precaution in preventing the risk of acquiring the health problem.
The health belief model explains perceived severity as the person perception on the potential consequences and seriousness of the health condition (Davis, Buchanan & Green, 2013).The people who perceive the health problem as likely to cause a serious health condition or consequences are more likely to develop positive health behaviors in order to prevent the health condition.
The perceived benefits refer to the persons’ believes that taking a certain action will lower the susceptibility and severity for a particular health condition (Ar-Yuwat, Clark, Hunter & James, 2013). An individual who believes that undertaking a certain action will reduce seriousness and risk of the health condition will engage in it regardless on the objective fact of whether the action is effective or not effective.
The perceived barrier is one’s beliefs on the obstacles that hinder the behavioral change including both psychological and tangible cost (Ayele, Tesfa, Abebe, , Tilahun & Girma, 2012). The perceived barrier prevent a person from embracing a health promoting behavior despite understanding that undertaking certain action will reduce the threat of disease. The behavioral change can, therefore, occur if perceived benefits outweigh the perceived barriers. The perceived barriers include the cost of undertaking the action, discomfort, and side effects for undertaking the behavioral change.
Cues to Action
The health belief model argues that there should be activating factors required for an individual to undertake a behavioural change in promoting good health (Jalilian, Hazavehei, Vahidinia, Jalilian & Moghimbeigi, 2013).The triggering factors to taking the action can be both external and internal. The external triggering factors include the information and awareness provided to an individual from other people. The internal triggering factors can be psychological including pain and symptoms.
The Health belief model states that self-efficacy is the individual perception as possessing the capability of undertaking the action towards promoting positive health behaviors. Ar-Yuwat, Clark, Hunter & James (2013) asset that the individual who believes to possess the ability to change their behaviors in order to prevent a health problem are more likely to change their behaviors. The actions for behavioral change may include exercise, quitting smoking and diet modification.
The health belief model is applied in promoting positive behavioral changes by targeting the various concepts of the model in order to prevent and reduce the risks of health problem due to certain behaviors (Wills, 2015). The application aim at increasing the peoples’ perceived susceptibility, self-efficacy, perceived severity, cue to action and perceived benefit and decreasing the perceived barriers in order for them to undertake behavioral changes aimed at promoting health (Wills, 2015). The health belief model can, for example, be used to impose behavioral changes in order to prevent the risk of heart attack in the members of the community by educating them on the consequences and risk of the disease, prevalence, incidences and training the people on the health promoting behaviors. The model can also be used to reduce HIV transmission by use of a condom. The educator can increase the perceived susceptibility and perceived severity in not using a condom and manipulate the people on the perceived benefits of using a condom in order to reduce the risk of contracting HIV.
3. Impact and Influences
The embracement of the health belief model in the health sector can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of developing certain health conditions. The health professional should use the health belief model in order to educate and manipulate the people to change the behaviors that are risk factors for certain diseases and promote behaviors that prevent the diseases (Davis, Buchanan & Green, 2013). The theory, however, does not relate other reasons that may be influencing health- related behaviors but unrelated with health. A person exercising for leisure and to feel better does not fit in this model because there is no negative consequence motivating the person to exercise although the person avoids risk of heart attack due to exercise.
The health belief model is one of the theories that can be embraced by health care professional in order to champion for good health of the people by inspiring people to live a healthy lifestyle. The health belief model has six concepts all of which determines a person adoption to behaviours that promote health. The understanding of the six concepts of the health belief model by the health care professional is what helps them guide the patient on ways of changing behaviours that promote health.
Ar-Yuwat, S., Clark, M. J., Hunter, A., & James, K. S. (2013). Determinants of physical activity in primary school students using the health belief model.J Multidiscip Healthc, 6, 119-26.
Ayele, K., Tesfa, B., Abebe, L., Tilahun, T., & Girma, E. (2012). Self care behavior among patients with diabetes in Harari, Eastern Ethiopia: the health belief model perspective. PloS one, 7(4), e35515.
Davis, J. L., Buchanan, K. L., & Green, B. L. (2013). Racial/ethnic differences in cancer prevention beliefs: Applying the health belief model framework. Health Promotion, 27(6), 384-389.
Jalilian, F., Hazavehei, S. M. M., Vahidinia, A. A., Jalilian, M., & Moghimbeigi, A. (2013). Prevalence and related factors for choosing self-medication among pharmacies visitors based on Health Belief Model in Hamadan Province, West of Iran. Journal of research in health sciences,13(1), 81-85.
Walker, K., & Jackson, R. (2015). The health belief model and determinants of oral hygiene practices and beliefs in preteen children: a pilot study.Pediatric dentistry, 37(1), 40-45.
Wills, T. (2015). Factors relating to motivation to change behaviour in individuals who are overweight: application of the health belief model.