What is the Health Belief Model?
Diabetes Education: Health Belief Model
In educating people about diabetes, one particular model that’s important is the Health Belief Model. This particular model of diabetes education involves four different components. The first component is perceived benefits.
Under this particular part of the model, people who feel that they are going to reap benefits from engaging in self-care behaviors are going to be more likely to want to learn and apply the skills.
Part of educating them is to get them to see, or at least perceive or believe, that there are benefits involved to them personally in learning what to do in order to care for themselves and to apply these skills.
Next, under the Health Belief Model, are perceived costs. Under this part of the Health Belief Model, you need to help the person that you’re trying to educate. Understand that the financial expense, the time spent, and the energy invested is less than the benefit received from making these changes.
They need to know that there are costs to them personally in terms of finances, time spent, and energy expended in helping themselves with their diabetes, but they need to see that those costs are greatly outweighed by the benefits to themselves.
You can show them the benefits from one, show them that the costs are worth the benefits received, and then next, talk to them about the severity of the disease and the complications: Disability, illness, loss of productivity, all are contributed to the disease severity.
People who believe that diabetes is a serious condition are more likely to accept education. You’ve shown them the benefits, you’ve shown them that the costs are less than or the benefits outweigh those costs.
Then, you talk to them about the severity of the disease and they realize-and if they accept this, they are more willing then to receive the education and make the changes necessary, because they realize that, for them, this is a real possibility.
Now, if they think that their particular diabetes is borderline or mild, they’re going to be less likely to want to engage in paying the costs. They won’t see the benefits as being as significant. Finally, under the Health Belief Model, susceptibility.
Those who perceive that the negative consequences of diabetes can happen to them are more willing to engage in the education. Those who feel, once again, that they are only borderline or just have a mild case of diabetes may not believe that education is necessary for them.
Are they susceptible? Do they see their susceptibility? Do they see the severity of the disease and its consequences? Do they perceive that the benefits far outweigh the costs of the changes necessary?
Do they actually know those benefits up front? These four things are very important under the Health Belief Model in educating others about diabetes. According to research, perceived susceptibility and disease severity are the strongest predictors for behavior change.
If you’re going to emphasize something, it needs to be three and four in terms of getting people to make the necessary changes. One and two are important and they contribute to 3 and 4, but these two are the major components of the Health Belief Model in diabetes education.