The Application of Health Belief Model

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The society I live in has very many smokers in it. They do not know the health effects of smoking. I am therefore interested in helping reduce this behavior for their benefit and the benefit of their families. The best method to use is to use the health belief model of health promotion; this is because this method creates awareness and allows the patients to make their own decision. The health belief model was advanced in the 1950s by several psychologists. They aimed to improve the level of screening of tuberculosis by informing people the effects of tuberculosis. This model would then create awareness and convince them of the need to be screened for the disease.

The Health Belief Model

The health belief model is a model that involves a nurse or doctor informing the public of the need to change behavior due to the effects of this behavior. This model depends on the public belief on that specific type of practice. There is, therefore, need for the nurse to teach the public the effects of that behavior and make them view that a change in behavior will reduce the impact and be beneficial to them. Initially, the model had four constructs perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers (Sharma, 2017). With time nurses and theorists have added more concepts such as cues to action and self-efficacy.

Application of the Health Belief Model

For this model to efficiently work the nurse needs to use the concepts and create an effective plan that will help promote the health of the public and reduce the prevalence of the behavior. In this case, the cues to action will be education. The plan will include the concepts as follows:

a) Perceived susceptibility

The method begins by first having to make the members of the public who smoke believe that smoking is dangerous (McDonald, 2014). This strategy is implemented by use of information on the effects of tobacco, for instance, show them through experiments the effects of smoking on the lungs such as demonstrating animal lungs which have been exposed to tobacco smoke. Follow that by showing them images of lungs of a non-smoker and a smoker showing them the effects of smoking. This activity should be followed by how smoking causes other effects such as how it can lead to cancer and lung diseases. This because people may know, but they fail, to believe it because they do not see how it relates to the cause. For example, not many know how smoking can result in cancer, therefore, explaining to them will make them believe.

b) Perceived severity

Once you have made the public believe that smoking has adverse effects on the body, the next step is to let them know how severe the results are on the patient and the family (Sharma, 2017). This goal includes making them how the behavior causes illness and the effects of diseases on the patients. An easy way to explain this is through the use of the symptoms of the disease. Make the public know the symptoms of a disease such as cancer on a body which result from smoking. For instance, lung cancer causes one to develop a continuous cough with blood in it, constant chest pains, and shortness of breath and weight loss among other effects. These will make one's body sick they, therefore, cannot work anymore to provide for their families. There will be the need for medical fees which are very high and there is a need for constant medication. Chemotherapy is a costly method of treating cancer, but it might have to be used on the patient when they contract lung cancer. In this stage, the nurses need to make the public know of the multiple effects of smoking and how bad it may affect them and their families.


c) Perceived benefits and barriers

The nurses have to go ahead further and show the affected population the benefits that they will gain from discontinuing the smoking behavior (McDonald, 2014). This comes from showing that their health will very quickly improve when they stop smoking tobacco. They also have to state what benefits they will gain. However quitting the smoking behavior is not a smooth road, the nurses also have to inform the people affected the barriers they will face when they are trying to stop the smoking behavior. For example, there will be very adverse withdrawal symptoms. In some cases, they will have to visit a hospital to get help with the process. The quitting process will, therefore, be accompanied by medical costs. They after that have to figure out and weigh whether the benefits are good enough, or the barriers are too many.

d) Self-efficacy

There is also need that the nurses show that the patients that this process is straightforward and they will be able to go through with it (Sharma, 2017). They are through making them believe in themselves. They can also achieve this by developing for them a simple strategy to quit the behavior. This simple strategy will increase their self-efficacy.


The health belief model is one of the best and most used health promotion models. In this model, the nurse only has to create awareness of the negative behaviors and their effects on the person. The nurses have to make the public believe that the practice is wrong. They then have a significant role in helping them stop the smoking behavior. The nurses will use the four concepts of belief health model to develop a plan to promote health as above.


McDonald, J. A., Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana University, & Bloomington. (2014). Application of Health Belief Model constructs as related to college students' indoor and outdoor tanning. (Dissertation Abstracts International, 75-12.

Sharma, M. (2017). Theoretical foundations of health education and health promotion. Retrieved from

October 13, 2023

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