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Application of the Health Belief Model in Nursing Practice

Because it enables healthcare providers to anticipate and comprehend patients’ health-related behavior, the Health Belief Model (HBM) is a fundamental component of nursing and healthcare. This scholarly study examines the Health Belief Model’s origins, essential ideas, and practical applications in nursing practice in clinical, educational, and administrative settings. This investigation explores how the Health Belief Model may influence healthcare practices and how people behave about their health in nursing-related environments.

Theory Description

The 1950s Health Belief Model by social psychologists Hochbaum, Rosenstock, and Kegels helps explain health-related behaviors and decision-making. It all started with the desire to know why high-risk people choose different methods of tuberculosis screening. This moderate philosophy focuses on how one’s behaviors affect one’s health (Kim & Sohn., 2019). This model is essential in health behavior theories because it examines how beliefs and attitudes affect health decisions. This model helps explain health-related behaviors by exploring the complex relationship between thoughts, beliefs, and actions. The Health Belief Model is one of many health behavior models that examine how mental frameworks affect health decisions and activities.

Origins and Scope of the Theory

The Health Belief Model was developed to understand how people make health decisions, especially when at risk. The concept has developed from evaluating high-risk individuals’ tuberculosis screening decisions (Khademian et al., 2020). It now includes seeing the doctor, continuing therapy, and being proactive about health. The concept’s versatility renders it valuable in various healthcare settings and issues. The Health Belief Model was developed because it was necessary to apply it for purposes other than tuberculosis testing. The use of medical treatment and illness prevention are among the current topics. This versatility makes the model useful in tackling complicated health issues in varied healthcare situations.

Major Concepts and Propositions

When considered as a whole, the ideas that make up the Health Belief Model significantly influence people’s activities relating to their health. “Perceived susceptibility” refers to an individual’s belief that they are more likely to contract a particular illness. This perspective greatly influences the tendency to provide preventative healthcare. A person is likelier to adopt a better, more preventative lifestyle if they know that heart disease runs in their family (Khademian et al., 2020). The idea also emphasizes how people assess the benefits and drawbacks of altering their behavior about their health. This assessment is especially crucial when considering significant life changes, such as giving up smoking. It means balancing the possible advantages—like better health and financial savings—against the possible drawbacks—like peer pressure and withdrawal symptoms.

The Health Belief Model also considers the cues to action that encourage people to take action. For instance, symptoms can act as an internal trigger, whereas media campaigns and professional medical advice can act as external cues (Khademian et al., 2020). The paradigm also promotes self-efficacy or the belief that one can achieve a goal. People work harder to establish and maintain healthy habits when they feel capable. The interconnected concepts of the Health Belief Model offer a comprehensive framework for examining and influencing people’s decisions and actions linked to their health.

Theoretical Definitions of Concepts

Perceived Susceptibility

Perceived susceptibility, as used in the HBM, refers to a person’s subjective assessment of their chance of contracting a specific illness or health condition. It is influenced by individual characteristics, environmental stimuli, and prior experiences (Chang et al., 2022). Risk factors, lifestyle, and genetics are included while assessing susceptibility. For instance, excessive sun exposure without protection or a family history of skin cancer may make a person more susceptible.


According to the HBM paradigm, self-efficacy is the belief that one can conduct a health action and get the desired result. It involves assessing one’s capacity to handle the challenges and failures inherent in the endeavor (Chang et al., 2022). For instance, a person with solid self-efficacy regarding weight management is assured of their ability to maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen despite obstacles and temptations.

Relationship between Concepts

The Health Belief Model explains how one’s sense of vulnerability and capacity are connected to how vulnerability to illness affects confidence in one’s capacity to prevent it. People are more confident in their abilities when they feel vulnerable (Kim & Sohn, 2019). An individual may have increased self-efficacy in preventing or controlling diabetes if, for instance, they believe they are susceptible to the condition due to their family history and their terrible lifestyle choices.

The HBM posits that these connected notions cooperate to affect a person’s choice of health-related actions (Kim & Sohn, 2019). Individuals with solid self-efficacy who recognize a health risk and believe that adopting a specific habit can reduce it are more likely to take the recommended action.

In conclusion, Nurses use the Health Belief Model to understand and predict patients’ health behavior. Nurses can more effectively support healthy habits in their patients if they thoroughly assess each patient’s unique mix of beliefs and perceptions regarding health risks and possible solutions. When healthcare practitioners fully grasp how perceived susceptibility and self-efficacy interact, they can better construct tailored interventions that inspire patients to develop and maintain healthy routines.


Khademian, Z., Ara, F. K., & Gholamzadeh, S. (2020). The effect of self-care education based on Orem’s nursing theory on quality of life and self-efficacy in patients with hypertension: a quasi-experimental study. International Journal of community-based nursing and midwifery8(2), 140.

Chang, C. Y., Hwang, G. J., & Gau, M. L. (2022). Promoting students’ learning achievement and self‐efficacy: A mobile chatbot approach for nursing training. British Journal of Educational Technology53(1), 171-188.

Kim, M. S., & Sohn, S. K. (2019). Emotional intelligence, problem-solving ability, self-efficacy, and clinical performance among nursing students: A structural equation model. Korean Journal of Adult Nursing31(4), 380-388.


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