Health Behavior Model Essay For General Paper

The Health Belief Model Essay

1844 Words8 Pages

The Health Belief Model (HBM) of health behaviour change was originally developed in the 1950s in order to understand and explain why vaccination and screening programs being implemented at the time were not meeting with success (Edberg 2007). It was later extended to account for preventive health actions and illness behaviours (Roden 2004). Succinctly, it suggests that behaviour change is influenced by an individuals’ assessment of the benefits and achievability of the change versus the cost of it (Naidoo and Wills 2000).

For the purposes of this assignment, the author has been provided with an example client, Thomas. In order to better explain the workings of the HBM, the author will relate back to Thomas in discussing this model and…show more content…

As healthcare professionals or “experts”, nurses can often, with the best of intentions, deprive clients of autonomy by monopolising their care, believing that we are acting in their best interests. In Thomas’ case we could identify his smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, low motivation and possible unresolved grief stemming from the death of his daughter as problems. However, the essence of the Health Belief Model is that of empowerment, we act as facilitators to support our clients in identifying areas they may wish to change (Kiger 2004). While still undoubtedly the experts, we do not use our knowledge to hold ourselves apart, but to act as facilitators and catalysts for changing to more positive health behaviours. Thomas’ perceptions of his problems may be very different to our own, or he may feel unable to change. So the issue for the practitioner becomes not, “how do we fix the problem?” but, “how do we assist our clients in identifying problem areas they may wish to change and empower them to make that change?” In order to see how this may be achieved, the author will now discuss the HBM as a framework to enable a nurse to assist clients in this manner.

The HBM is founded on four perceptions or core constructs. The first is that of perceived seriousness. This relates to an individuals’ perception of the severity of an illness, not just in medical terms but also possibly in terms of its’ effect on their lives or livelihood (Edberg 2007). If Thomas does

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Behavior change is a complex process, frequently complex to attain and to carry on. Health professionals recognize that, in their work to promote healthy behaviors, they are challenging in opposition to powerful forces such as, linking social, psychological and environmental conditioning. However, the benefits of behavior modify must be persuasive. As a result, health educators use numerous diverse models for perceptive behavior change and creating successful interventions. There are many health behavior models, but there are three commonly used models with examples and typical applications, 1) Health Belief model, 2) Stages of Change or Transtheoretical Model and 3)Social Cognitive Theory.

The Health Belief model is one of the first behavior modify theories developed. Based on description of this model, the changes in this model behavior relay on five main factors: 1) perceived severity where it describe the principle that a health problem is serious, 2) perceived threat where it describe the principle that one is vulnerable to the problem, 3) perceived benefit where it describe the principle that changing one’s behavior will decrease the threat, 4) Perceived barriers where it describe the perception of the obstacles to changing one’s behavior, and 5) Self efficacy where it describe the principle that one has the capability to change one’s behavior.

One of the most common examples about the health behavior model is a story about a regular doctor visit reveals that a woman is obtain heart disease due to her family history and roots (perceived threat). This woman knows that her mother and father both died too early as a reason for heart problems (perceived severity). Her doctor tells her that ordinary exercise would be the best way to decrease her risk of her heart disease (perceived benefit). Thus, the doctor advice the woman to follow prescribes a walking program. The woman recognizes that with work and family it will be tough to find time to walk (perceived barriers). On her way back driving to her home from work she sees a billboard promoting every day walks as part of one’s morning and evening routine. Thus, she decides to try getting up 30 minutes earlier every day to walk two miles and finds success with this routine (self efficacy). On the other side, the Health Belief model supplies insights for why people make health decisions and creates a process to encourage the sole of change. Moreover, it is also very useful in understanding how to design health education programs and convincing messages.

The second common model of health behavior is stages of change or Transtheoretical Model. It provides a framework for describing how behavior change can take place. Based on this model description there are five stages of change 1) Precontemplation without thinking about changing behavior itself, 2) Contemplation by putting the perception about changing behavior in the close future, 3) Decision making to obtain the plan to change the behavior, 4) Action used for implementing the plan to change behavior, and finally 5) Maintenance to obtain continuation of behavior change.

The Stages of Change Model is not linear. Thus, people can enter and exit at any point moreover some people like to repeat a stage more than a few times. For example, a pack-a-day smoker is unclearly painful about smoking in the existence of non-smokers. Thus, sometime he have some thought about quitting, however he is content to keep smoking (precomptemplation). Recently, whereas visiting a friend who is also a smoker, they go outside instead of smoking beside the children. The smoker’s wife has also asked him many times to smoke outside the home to prevent their infant son from the side effects of the smoking. She convinces him to go to the doctor to talk about secondhand smoke and what available option for quitting this habit (contemplation). After talking with the doctor about the available options, he signs up for self-help program and sets a quit date (decision). Thus, on his quit day he starts using the patch and follows the self-help program guide for methods to get rid of old habits (action). He relapses after a week, but tries to quit again numerous times (contemplation and action). With motivation from friends and family, support from his doctor and the program guide, he keeps on trying (decision) and lastly quits for good (action). Although, it’s been a year since his last cigarette, he prevents situations that trigger a need to smoke and frequently rewards himself for not smoking (maintenance). In the same field, the Transtheoretical model acknowledges that not everyone is ready to change behavior. This model is so helpful in making designs for health programs targeted at exacting stages of change or for moving individuals throughout diverse stages…

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