Healthy Living OCR Psychology

Theories of health belief study 1 Becker

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  • Created on: 26-03-13 11:48
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Topic 1:1:1 Theories of Health Belief
Study 1: Health Belief Model
Background ­ study in 1954 on why people did or didn't go for TB (serious threat) screening, main
consideration was how serious they perceived it to be. HBM cognitive model which identifies factors
that indicate the possibility of individual adopting health behaviour.
Becker (1978) ­ Compliance with a medical regime for asthma
Aim: To use the HBM to explain the mums' adherence to a drug regimen for their asthmatic children.
Methodology: Correlation between beliefs reported ­ interviews and compliance from self-reported
administration of asthma medication. Some p's blood test used to test level of medication ­ confirmed
validity of the mums answers during the interview.
P's: 111 mums responsible for asthma medication given to child. Aged between 17-54 and children aged
between 9 months to 17 years of age.
Procedure: Each P (mum) interviewed for 45 mins; questioned about their perception of their child's
susceptibility to illness and asthma, how serious asthma is, how much it interfered with school,
embarrassment and interfered with mum's activities, faith in doctors and effectiveness of medication.
Findings: Positive correlation was found between mothers' belief about child's susceptibility to asthma
attacks and compliance with medical regimen, also existed in mothers who believed their child to have a
serious asthma condition. Mums also who said the medication to interfere with own activities complied with
the regimen. Costs were negatively correlated with compliance; disruption of daily activities, no access to
chemists, child's complaining and the prescribed schedule of the medication. 2 demographic variables that
correlated; marital status and education. Married women likely to comply and women with education.
Conclusion: study shows evidence that the HBM works and it's a useful model to predict and explain
different levels of compliance with medical regimen.

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Evaluation of the Health Belief Model:
Usefulness: you can identify where the person is going wrong and try to help.
Application to everyday life: apply to everyday life situations.
Holistic approach: as it considers other factors such as culture.
Individual situation: you can apply to individuals.
Evidence to support this theory is the Becker study.
Cognitive approach: makes assumption that you can change the way a person thinks.
Reductionist: because it doesn't take into account biological factors, addiction.…read more


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