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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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There are five main elements of the Health Belief Model:

  • Health motivation - there is great variation in people's interest in health and the degree to which they are motivated to change it
  • Perceived vulnerability - with a specific health problem people vary in how likely they think they are to be affected e.g. if a patient thinks that he is at a high risk of a heart attack then he is more likely to follow advice to give up smoking
  • Perceived seriousness - people vary with respect to their beliefs concerning the consequences of contracting a particular illness and what the effect would be of not treating it
  • Perceived costs and benefits - patients evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of taking a particular course of action
  • Cues to action - patients beliefs are prompted or created by a number of stimuli and triggers

The health belief model also introduces another concept - locus of control - an explanation to ourself what is likely to occur with our health. There are three types of human being based on this theory - the internal controller, the external controller, the poweful other.

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