Health Belief Model

The Health Belief Model (HBM) is a psychological models that helps explain why patients may accept or reject preventative health services or adopt healthy behaviors (Euromed Info, n.d.). It was originally developed to explain why people failed to participate in programs to detect or prevent disease but has since been expanded to explain responses to symptoms, disease, prescribed treatments, and potential health problems (Edelman, Kudzma, & Mandle, 2014). It addresses the relationship between a patient's beliefs and behaviors and provides a way to understand and predict how they will behave in relation to their health and how they will comply with prescribed therapies (Current Nursing, 2013).   The HBM proposes that a person's health related behavior is more likely to change when the patient believes the four following things:
▪They are at risk for developing a specific condition
▪The risk is serious and the consequences of developing the condition are undesirable
▪The risk will be reduced by a specific behavior change
▪The barriers to the behavior change can be overcome and managed (Euromed Info, n.d.)

The HBM is a popular model applied in nursing, especially dealing with issues that focus on patient compliance and preventative health care practices (Current Nursing, 2013). It helps the nurse to formulate an action plan to meet the needs and capabilities of the person who is changing their health behavior. The HBM does not give specific interventions for the patient to accept; rather it explains the importance of patient perceptions in predicting treatment outcomes and adherence while giving nurses the information needed to choose the most appropriate interventions (Edelman, Kudzma, & Mandle, 2014). The nurse can then develop effective interventions to change health behaviors by targeting different aspects of the model's key constructs (Rosenstock, Stretcher, & Becker, 1988). Knowing what aspects of the HBM that the patient accepts or rejects can help the...