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Health Belief Model Essay

Using either the health belief model or the health promotion model, identify its major concepts and assumptions. Explain how the family nurse can design care for families using one of the models. The Health Belief Model correlates culture with the individuals understanding of the severity of the illness and susceptibility. If an individual does not perceive the severity and susceptibility as a threat, the individual will not act or seek healthcare. Cultural beliefs and practices will influence the patients’ perception of healthcare and their perception of promoting health and preventing illness, therefore, determining the type of behavior they will exhibit (motivation vs. resistance). According to Friedman, Bowden, and Jones (2003), “The most comprehensive scheme for looking at disease prevention and illness detection behavior is the Health Belief Model” (p. 431). Four ideas function as the main concepts of the Health Belief Model: susceptibility, seriousness, benefits, barriers (Erkin & Ozsoy, 2012 p. 32).

Susceptibility is the individual’s perceived vulnerability to illness or chronic condition. Seriousness is the person’s belief about the severity of a disease or condition. Benefits and barriers are the positive and negative actions perceived by an individual that either support or hinder healthcare. Focusing on the main concepts identified in the model will help the nurse to form a plan of care that is individualized to the family’s specific needs. For example, a family that does not perceive that they are likely to get diabetes due to their genetics and physical health may not embrace a change in their nutritional culture to lose excess weight.

The family may not perceive any benefits of eating healthier and may even find barriers to being able to eat healthier such as cost and ability to obtain healthy foods. The nurse should evaluate the family for possible referrals to community services available to them as well as educating the family on diabetes causes & risks, healthy nutrition, and prevention of diabetes. The family nurse should assess and identify health care vulnerabilities and assist with planning lifestyle changes, taking into consideration family culture, values, and beliefs (Friedman, Bowden, & Jones, 2003). Providing education, statistics, and confronting lifestyle choices can help alter individual disease perception.

Erkin, O., Ozsoy, S. (2012). Validity and reliability of health belief model applied to influenza. Academic Research International, 2(3), 31-40.
Friedman, M. M., Bowden, V. R., Jones, E. G. (2003). Family nursing: Research, theory, and practice (5th ed.). Prentice-Hall: Upper Saddle, NJ

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