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Health Belief Model Applied to Alcohol Use


Date Posted: 3/13/2018 1:12:06 PM

Posted By: a_jerobon  Membership Level: Silver  Total Points: 522

It is a psychological model which invests its focus on attitudes and beliefs of individuals in an attempt to explain and predict the health behaviours of individuals and population.

It came to existence in the 1950s and was developed by psychological scientists named Hochbaum, Rosenstock and Kegels. They were working in the U. S Public Health Services. This was in response to the people's poor reciprocation to a free tuberculosis health screening program.

Since then, it has achieved its greatness for it has succeeded to promote such behaviours as condom use to prevent H. I. V, seat belt use, health screening use, avoiding alcohol and other drugs and general medical compliance.

According to the Health Belief Model, a person will take a recommended medical action (avoiding the use of alcohol) if he/she:
1. Feels that by avoiding the use of alcohol, he/she will avoid the negative consequences of alcohol like like development of liver cirrhosis.
2. He/she has a firm and positive expectation that avoiding alcohol is definitely effective in prevention of liver cirrhosis.
3. He/she beliefs firmly that he/she can live comfortably and confidently in an alcohol free lifestyle.

The Health Belief Model is made up of four concepts which entails the threats and benefits that are perceived by an individual before and during the time he/she is taking the recommended health action. They include;
-Perceived susceptibilty
-Perceived severity
-Perceived benefits
-Perceived barriers
These four constructs are believed to account for the readiness of people to act. Cues to action is an added concept which activates the readiness to act and causes the change of behaviour. Another concept that was recently added is self efficacy. This is one's confidence in his/her ability to perform an action comfortably and successfully.

Perceived susceptibility
This refers to an individual's opinion on the chances of developing a condition due to failure of undertaking a

recommended health action. This can be used to tell the population which is at risk to a certain condition, the level of that risk and personalizing the risk on the basis of one's behaviour.

Perceived severity
This refers to the way an individual views the seriousness of the condition at hand and the consequences to be faced. Basing on this opinion, an individual can be made to adhere to the medical recommendation through clarity in specifying the consequences of the condition to the person.

Perceived benefits
This answers the questions "how do I benefit from the advised action?" "Is it efficient enough to reduce the risk or seriousness of the impact?" In response to such opinion, one should clarify to the individual the positive impacts of taking a recommended action.

Perceived barriers
This are individual's opinions of the physical psychological hindrances to the advised action. This could be the cost expenditure, distance to be covered, and the time available in order to undertake the recommended action.
One should identify the barriers and focus on reducing or eliminating them in order to ensure that recommended health action is undertaken by the individual at risk.

Cues to action
This are strategies that are put in place in order to activate the individual's readiness to act. This could be through provision of how to information, promoting awareness of a certain advise or action to be undertaken and giving reminders to ensure that they undertake the recommended health action.

Self efficacy
It is the individual's assertiveness in his/her ability to undertake the recommended action. An individual's confidence can be impacted through provision of training and giving guidance in performance.

Application on alcohol users

Perceived susceptibility
This are conditions that are perceived by an individual to be caused by alcohol use. This risks include; addiction, liver cirrhosis, hallucination and impaired judgement.

Perceived severity
This are individual's perceived opinions on the seriousness of conditions caused by taking alcohol and how serious their consequences can be. One should specify to the person at risk that too much consumption of alcohol can eventually lead to serious alcoholism problems and eventual death due to liver cirrhosis.

Perceived benefits
These are benefits that an individual expects from undertaking a recommended action. One should clarify to the individual that quitting alcohol use leads to living a sober life where you spend resources well without wasting, you concentrate on building a bright future and one does well in his/her daily activities.

Perceived barriers
This are individual's opinions on the things that prevent him/her not to quit using alcohol. This could include the cost of rehabilitation, frequency of relapsing lack of time to go through rehab. One should identify such barriers and try to reduce them.

Cues to action
This are the strategies that are put in place in order to activate the readiness to quit alcohol use. This can be creating awareness on the effect of alcohol use, providing information on how to stop taking alcohol and providing free or less costly rehabilitation services.

Self efficacy
This an individual's readiness and confidence in quitting alcohol use. It can be promoted through registering the person in a rehabilitation center, giving them enough education on how to quit alcohol use and following up in order to ensure that the action is undertaken.

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