Health Belife Model

We all desire for a life where we can spend some quality time with our loved ones, where we can grab every opportunity presented to us as quick as a wink, and where we can accomplish our goals and traverse the trajectory of our life smoothly and effortlessly.

In order to lead a successful and victorious life, we need to work hard and strive each and every moment of our life with consistency.

But do you know what? You would need a healthy and a hygienic life if you don’t want your ailments to obstruct the path leading towards your destination. For this purpose, you need to change your beliefs and certain practices regarding your health and hygiene.

Understanding the health belief model will definitely help you shift your hygienic practices and to modify your health behaviors.

Health Belief Model:

Health Belief Model is a psychological model that assists in demonstrating the anticipation of the behavior and attitude of an individual regarding his health. This model not only explains the method to change that behavior but also predicts the reason why despite knowing the harm of a certain practice, an individual is not actually changing or modifying that noxious practice.

History:

The HBM was initially formulated by social psychologists Hoch Baum, Rosen stock and Kegels who worked in the U.S. Public Health Services, in the 1950s.The model was developed when free tuberculosis (TB) health screening program failed. Since then, the HBM has been used and adapted to analyze a wide variety of both long- and short-term health behaviors.

Determinants:

The HBM model is based on the assumption that the eagerness and disposition of an individual to alter his health behavior or health pattern is essential due to the following determinants:

  1. Perceived Susceptibility:

According to Health Belief Model, if an individual understands and becomes aware of the fact that he is at the verge of developing certain diseases due to any malpractice, then there is a great chance that the individual will immediately abandon that practice. He may try to engage in acts that can reduce the risk of developing that ailment and health problem.

But that is not always the case! In some cases individuals who show low perceived susceptibility turn down the idea of contracting a disease, others may consider themselves as immune to that ailment or may believe that somehow their risk of contracting the disease is lower than others. In both cases, an individual keeps on carrying out that particular malpractice.

Example:

Young people consider that they are internally strong and they would not be harmed by smoking. As a result of such a belief, they keep on smoking and continue to harm themselves.

Thinking of unhealthy foods, you must not skip considering sodas. Check here: Is Club Soda Bad for You?

  1. Perceived Severity:

The chances that a person will alter his health behavior in order to evade the noxious consequences depend upon the fact that how severe the consequences appear to him. If a person does not consider an ailment or a habit to be harmful, he will not alter his attitude and will not take any step to prevent the worst-case consequences.

On the other hand, individuals who perceive the seriousness of diseases i.e. intolerable excruciating pain they’d have to bear, excessive financial pressure they’d have to handle and other personal or professional issues they’d have to tackle, then they engage in actions that prevent a serious health problem.

Want to know about the severity of heart health and cardiac issues which we do not take seriously. Learn more: Heart Problems and Symptoms.

Example:

Students before exam tend to consume a healthy diet and prevent the use of cold drinks and snacks because they perceive the fact that a simple sore throat during their exams can lead to fever, fatigue, and flu. They take all the necessary precautionary measures.

Similarly, influenza is a very short-term and a common ailment. But if one perceives that the severity of influenza will lead not only to physiological problems but also result in long-term absence from work then he will definitely take steps to avoid it.

  1. Perceived Benefits:

It is a basic part of human psychology that he wishes to be rewarded for each and every step. Similarly, an individual will not change his health behavior until he gets an extra benefit.

Example:

Dermatologists emphasize wearing sunscreen before going out in the day time. The ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause serious damage to the skin and ultimately lead to skin cancer. Therefore, the majority of women wear sunscreen because they think that it will brighten their skin tone and not just to prevent skin tan. However, people focus more on the short term changes rather than long term benefits.

  1. Perceived Barriers:

One of the common reasons of people not changing their behaviors is that they believe it will be difficult for them. Being difficult means that it will become financially hard for them or they may think people would not approve their doing so or they may think they are not so determined and goal oriented to do so.

Example:

Drugs addicts mostly think that they will not be able to survive without the drug. Same is the case with chain smokers.

Elements That Causes Behavioral Change:

There are two elements that were incorporated into the Health Belief System play an important role in giving people a reason to change their behavior immediately:

  1. Cues To Action:

Any act that will immediately create an inborn desire to take action is known as the cue to action. It’s similar to intrinsic motivation to take a step towards change.

Example:

If a chain smoker sees another chain smoker suffering and dying in front of him, there is a strong possibility that he will quit smoking.

  1. Self Efficacy:

It is best described as a person’s belief in himself of whether he is able to do something or not. In many cases, if a person is not capable to do something but he has a strong self-belief to achieve something, he definitely will attain it.

Final Verdict:

HBM asserts the fact that people should be provided with reasons to change their health behaviors and their small accomplishments should be appreciated. What do you think? What kind of events made you change your unhealthy behaviors?

Leave a Reply