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The Health Belief Model

The Health Belief Model


The Health Belief Model (HBM) is based on the theory that an individual’s perception of their personal risk for a health issue or disease and their awareness of the benefits they would gain from taking control measures to avoid getting a disease influences their willingness to undertake the necessary precautions or changes (Green et al., 2020). On the other hand, the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) assumes that long-term change is realized in a process that involves numerous adaptations and actions over time through various stages (Prochaska & Prochaska, 2019). One key advantage of HBM is that even though it is focused on an individual, the theory addresses and recognizes the social background where health behaviors happen. The major limitation of the HBM theory is that it entirely depends on an individual’s perceptions and belief that change could happen if they took necessary preventive measures. This is a disadvantage because if the model is implemented in health care and people fail to take the needed action, then no change would be realized.

The key strength of TTM theory is that change happens within a longer period of time. Therefore, an individual has ample time to weigh the risks involved and the benefits of taking the necessary precaution to avoid getting a certain disease. They also have enough time to achieve the desired final goal. The main disadvantage of TTM is that it cannot be implemented in instances where there is a need for urgent change, for instance, during a serious pandemic like COVID-19. According to Fike (2015), an example of how HBM theory has been applied in practice includes getting a flu vaccine or mammography screening; whereas TTM theory has been applied in instances such as breaking unhealthy habits like smoking or eating unhealthy foods and exercising regularly to reduce chances of blood pressure.



Fike, A. (2015). A Comparison of the Health Belief Model and the Transtheoretical Health Model. Prezi. Retrieved from,preventing%20or%20controlling%20an%20illness.

Green, E. C., Murphy, E. M., & Gryboski, K. (2020). The health belief model. The Wiley encyclopedia of health psychology, 211-214.

Prochaska, J. O., & Prochaska, J. M. (2019). Transtheoretical model. In Lifestyle Medicine (pp. 219-228). CRC Press.


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Compare and contrast two different theories described in your textbook reading for this topic. Highlight the key elements, strengths, and limitations of each theory, and provide an example of how each theory has been applied in practice.

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