Becker et al- The Health Belief Model

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  • Created on: 25-08-13 08:30
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Background theory and Psychologists:
The health belief model (1954)- A study was carried out on why people did or did not go for TB screening
Assumptions/ Approaches/Perspective:
The HBM is a cognitive model which Identifies factors which indicate the possibility of an individual adopting a
health behaviour. Used to predict the uptake of health behaviours based on several factors.
Theory/Model/ Concept definition:
HBM takes into account some social aspects e.g. culture and is not just a cognitive model, making it more useful
when assessing complex human behaviour
Perceived susceptibility: An individual's assessment of his/her chances of getting the disease
Perceived seriousness: An individual's judgement as to the severity of the disease.
Health behaviours include giving up something (smoking), regularly checking health, regularly preventing
problems (brushing teeth)
Cost-benefit model: the greater the benefits compared to the costs, the more likely they are to adopt a
Methodological and theoretical issues and debates:
Nature vs. Nurture- Supports nurture
Determinism vs. Free will- Is deterministic
Reductionism vs. Holism
Acknowledges individual differences, it is therefore holistic as it takes many factors into consideration
Doesn't take into account emotional and irrational factors- affects validity
Not all health behaviours arise out of a rational decision therefore not generalizable to all health behaviours e.g.
brushing teeth
Only predicts likelihood of behaviour change
Title and Authors: Compliance with a medical regimen for asthma- Becker et al (1978)
Aim: To use the HBM to explain mothers' adherence to a drug regimen for their asthmatic children
Method: A correlation between reported beliefs during interviews and compliance with self-reported
administration of asthma medication. A blood test was also used for some participants to test medication levels to
confirm the validity of the mothers' answers in the interview (An objective measure= blood tests)
Participants and/or sampling: 111 mothers responsible for administering asthma medication to their children.
Mothers: Aged 17-54 years Children: Aged 9 months to 17 years Opportunity sample
Design: Correlational design

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Each mother interviewed for 45 minutes; asked questions on:
1) Their perception of their child's susceptibility to illness and asthma
2) Their beliefs on how serious asthma is
3) How much their child's asthma interfered with the child's education
4) How much their child's asthma caused embarrassment.…read more

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