Health Belief Models Essay

2271 Words Apr 15th, 2011 10 Pages
Health Belief Model (HBM)
The Health Belief Model (HBM) is a psychological model that attempts to explain and predict health behaviors by focusing on the attitudes and beliefs of individuals. The HBM was developed in the 1950s as part of an effort by social psychologists in the United States Public Health Service to explain the lack of public participation in health screening and prevention programs (e.g., a free and conveniently located tuberculosis screening project). Since then, the HBM has been adapted to explore a variety of long- and short-term health behaviors, including sexual risk behaviors and the transmission of HIV/AIDS. The key variables of the HBM are as follows (Rosenstock, Strecher and Becker, 1994):
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The stages, as well as the hypothesized factors that influence the successful completion of each stage (please see attached diagram), are as follows
(Catania, Kegeles and Coates, 1990):
STAGE 1: Recognition and labeling of one's behavior as high risk
Hypothesized Influences: • knowledge of sexual activities associated with HIV transmission; • believing that one is personally susceptible to contracting HIV; •believing that having AIDS is undesirable; • social norms and networking.
STAGE 2: Making a commitment to reduce high-risk sexual contacts and to increase low-risk activities
Hypothesized Influences: • cost and benefits; •enjoyment (e.g., will the changes affect my enjoyment of sex?); • response efficacy (e.g., will the changes successfully reduce my risk of HIV infection?); • self-efficacy; • knowledge of the health utility and enjoy ability of a sexual practice, as well as social factors (group norms and social support), are believed to influence an individual's cost and benefit and self efficacy beliefs.

STAGE 3: Taking action. This stage is broken down into three phases:
1) information seeking; 2) obtaining remedies; 3) enacting solutions.
Depending on the individual, phases may occur
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