A common health belief is a perceived notion members of a population have about their health. For example, they may or may not believe that a healthy diet and exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes. In order to change a common health belief, the Health Belief Model may be implemented.
The Health Belief Model contains six constructs, or stages. The first construct is perceived susceptibility. In the case of diabetes, this is how likely patients believe they are to get diabetes. Perceived severity is the second construct. At this stage, patients determine how severely they will be affected by diabetes. The next stage is perceived benefits. Patients in this stage are weighing the pros and cons of receiving treatment for diabetes. Perceived barriers are the next construct. In this stage, patients consider the psychological or physical barriers they think that may keep them from receiving treatment. Once a patient decides to receive treatment, they enter the cues to action construct. In this stage, diabetes patients may receive emails, be enrolled in diabetes education classes, or participate in disease management programs. The final stage, or construct, is self-efficacy. At this point, patients believe they are willing and able to participate in and be compliant with treatment to improve their diabetes.