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Module 4: Theories >> Content Discussion
Section A
Foundations of Health Promotion

  Module 1
  Definitions and Concepts

--Module 2
--Milestones
--Module 3
--Models of Health
--& Health Promotion
--Module 4
--Theories
   ---Learning Outcomes
   ---Reflective Exercise
   ---Content Discussion
   ---Reflective Exercise
   ---Content Discussion
   ---Reflective Exercise
   ---Readings and Resources

-----
Section B
Health Promotion in Action
--Module 5
--Strategies
--Module 6
--Features
--Module 7
--Values
Section C
Building your Health Promotion Practice
--Module 8
--Current Practice
--Module 9
--Future Considerations
-----

Content Discussion

Theories Explaining Behaviour Change in Individuals

The Health Belief Model

The Health Belief Model (see Figure 4.1) is one of the oldest theories designed to explain health behaviour; it argues that behaviour can best be understood if beliefs about health are clear. The model predicts that individuals will act to protect or promote their health if they believe that:

they are susceptible to a condition or problem
the consequences of the condition are severe
the recommended actions to deal with the problem are beneficial
the benefits of taking action outweigh the costs or barriers

Figure 4.1: Major Elements of the Health Belief Model
Source: Adapted from Nutbeam and Harris, 1998

For example, if the Health Belief Model was applied to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, individuals would be more likely to practice safe sex if they believe that:

they are at risk of HIV infection
the consequences of the infection are serious
safe sex practices (e.g., condom use) are effective in reducing the risk of infection
the benefits of safe sex practices outweigh the potential costs and barriers

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