New York University The Health Belief Model Discussion

The Health Belief Model (HBM)

         At the interpersonal level, the health behavior theories assume that different people may exist in a given environment in which the thoughts, assistance as well as emotional support that other people may offer influence the decision that the people in these environments may make (Earl & Lewis, 2017). Regarding the theories involving human behaviors, people are greatly affected by as well as in their social environment. Although multiple theories may assist in explaining the interpersonal health and how different issues may affect it, the Health Belief Model (HBM) serves as one of the core theories that one may rely on when improving the health outcome.

         The HBM came into play as the health specialists wanted to understand the reason that made people apply or fail to use critical preventive services that were offered by the public health departments. This model has evolved to assist in addressing newer health concerns in the detection as well as the prevention of health issues. The HBM theorizes that the beliefs that people may have regarding the risks of the practices that they engage in or the chances that the health issue may put them in as well as the overall perception involved in the benefits of taking affirmative action to avoid the problem in question.

         There are several constructs that relate to the HBM, such as the cues to action and, in most cases, the self-efficacy as well as perceived barriers (Wickremasinghe & Ekanayake, 2017). Perceived susceptibility, as well as the perceived severity, is another core construct that correlates to the health belief model. Through this model people, from different communities in an environment, can develop a way that will enable them to overcome the prevailing health condition that the community faces. An example of the application in which the model has been applied to address a given health behavior is where those who may not have the belief that they are at a high risk of contracting HIV as a result of engaging in unprotected intercourse have a high chance of participating in protected sex. This perceived severity is likely to reduce the rate at which people participates in activities that may affect their health outcome.

         In the above-stated example, I believe that the other models may not have the ability to explain the perception regarding sexual behavior and the approaches needed to regulate HIV. The selected model above is capable of creating a method that the other models may fail to analyze.


American Psychological Association. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th Ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Earl, A., & Lewis Jr, N. A. (2019). Health in context: New perspectives on healthy thinking and healthy living. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 81(3), 1-4.

Wickremasinghe, W. M. P. N. R., & Ekanayake, L. (2017). Effectiveness of a health education intervention based on the Health Belief Model to improve oral health behaviors among adolescents. Asian Pac J Health Sci, 4(1), 48-55.

Interesting informational post, especially your connection of HIV and the HBM, I liked how you show how the model intervention affects individuals. However, I disagree with your notion about there being no other models that promote behavioral change about HIV.

A model that is used for risk behavior (sexually transmission risk behavior) is the social cognitive theory (SCT). This model is the most widely used theory in regard to STD because the individuals tend to go through a cognitive process of weighting their pros and cons when practicing safer sex. For example, using their knowledge on HIV, deciding whether to use a condom or not and their social norm, which influences the individual’s self-efficacy to practice safer sex in difficult situations (Safren et al., 2010).

Self- efficacy influences an individual’s thought processing patterns and emotional reaction and influence their persistence to succeed with a task. Therefore, once the individuals promote self-efficacy, then the HIV transmission risk behavior intervention will be successful in reducing risk. For example, according to Glanz et al., (2015), the SCT model can be used as an HIV prevention program for those among the underserved communities (inner-city women, and low-income), by targeting the population’s previous knowledge and experience about safe sex. Examining their emotional state (anxiety, arousal, and stress) regarding safe sex, and judging their self-efficacy regarding their management of high-risk situations (binge drinking) that might require safe sex behavior. This method can be used to increase self-efficacy and promote health by reducing the urge to participate in unsafe sex behavior (Glanz et al., 2015).


Glanz, K., Rimer, B. K., & Viswanath, K. (2015). Health behavior: Theory, research, and practice (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Safren, A. S., Traeger, L., Skeer, M., O’Cleirigh, C., Meade, S. C., Covahey, C., & Mayer, H. K. (2010). Testing a social-cognitive model of HIV transmission risk behaviors in HIV-infected MSM with and without depression. Health Psychology, 29(2), 215-221. Doi: 10.1037/a0017859