The Health Belief Model
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Using the health belief model how can nurses encourage patient to make immediate and permanent behavior changes, particularly as they relate to lifestyle choices.
Health belief model was developed in the 1950s by social psychologists at the US public Health Services to explain and predict health-related behaviors, particularly in regard to the uptake of health services and was amended in 1988. It includes perceived severity, perceived susceptibility, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, modifying variables, cues to action and self-efficacy. Nurses can encourage patient in changing health related behaviors by focusing on various aspects of the model key constructs. Perceived severity refers to subjective assessment of the severity of a health problem and its potential consequences while perceived susceptibility refers to subjective assessment of risk of developing a health problem.
The goal to increase perceived seriousness and perceived susceptibility to health condition can be attain by educating individuals about the prevalence and consequences of the diseases including financial, medical and social effects. Identifying and reducing perceived barriers by providing pamphlets/information’s about the efficacy of different ways to reduce the risk of the disease, encourage health promotion activities and behaviors. Health belief model may provide cues to action by reminding individuals to engage in health-promoting activities. Encouraging individuals to attend training to increase physical activity or changing diet are ways to boost self-efficacy. Overall nurses can encourage individual about health behavior changes but there are other factors including environment and family that may affect their decisions to make immediate and permanent behavior changes.