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Health Belief Model

Usha Menon and Laura Szalacha


The health belief model (HBM), prodigiously researched, has enjoyed sustained popularity amid evolving social norms, theories and models, and the recent developments of advanced technology influencing health behavior change (→  Health Communication ; Planned Social Change through Communication ). Developed by US Public Health Service social psychologists in the 1950s, the HBM was conceptualized to model the failure of individuals to engage in disease prevention or detection programs (→  Prevention and Communication ). Around 1974, and later in the 1980s, additional components (knowledge about the disease, self-efficacy or confidence in one's ability to perform the action of interest, cues to action), such as those examining responses to diagnosed illnesses and symptoms and adherence to medical regimens, were added to the model ( Janz et al. 2003 ; →  Health Literacy ). The HBM has been studied both as separate components and in its entirety, with multiple illnesses and preventive health behaviors, using various multivariate analytic techniques. The four basic components of the HBM are: (1) perceived risk or susceptibility (defined as one's perception of vulnerability to developing a disease; →  Risk Perceptions ); (2) perceived severity (seriousness of the illness or consequences of not completing the behavior of interest); (3) perceived benefits (perceived efficacy of the action ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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