HEALTH AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Theories of Health Belief
The Health Belief Model:
Predicts the uptake of health behaviours based on several factors. Study in 1954 showed whether people go for TB screening; only if they perceived it to be real threat. HBM is a cognitive model which identifies factors that indicate the possibility of individual adopting health behaviour. Two aspects: perceived seriousness and cost-benefit analysis. Demographic variables may affect final decision and external and internal cues (TV programmes or a period of being unwell) Takes in social aspects such as culture.
Core study using HBM by Becker:
Aim: To use the HBM to explains mother’s adherence to a drug regimen for their asthmatic children. Procedure: - 111 mothers aged between 17-54 years were responsible for the asthma medication of their children ages between 9 months and 17 years using a correlational design. Mothers interviewed 45 mins each. They were asked questions on seriousness, susceptibility to illness, interference with education and interference with mother’s daily activities. There were also asked on faith in doctors and effectiveness of medication. Findings: Positive correlation between mother’s compliance and belief of susceptibility and also between perceived seriousness. Those who said it interfered with daily activities also complied. Costs such as disruption of daily activities, child complaining etc. correlated negatively with compliance. Two demographic variables that correlated with compliance were marital status and education. Conclusion: HBM is a useful model to predict and explain different levels of compliance with medical regimens. WEAKNESSES
1) Takes a situational approach and therefore ignores individual differences as the HBM model suggests factors such as perceived threat, cost benefit, external/internal and demographic variables determine whether we adhere to medication. Does not look at personal characteristics. Can therefore be criticised for being deterministic as it argues the 4 factors from the HBM is what determines whether an individual adheres or not.
2) Interviews used as a method of obtaining data. This could have led to mothers showing demand characteristics and experience social desirability effect in order to avoid being perceived in a negative light as a mother. This impact on the validity of the study’s findings as it does not depict true and accurate findings as it relies on subjective recollections from the mothers.
3) Only quantitative data was obtained which reduces the in depth, rich and insightful data that could be collected from qualitative data and therefore limits how informative the findings could have been.
4) Can be argued as being reductionist as it does not take into consideration individual differences and focuses only on situational explanation. It reduces a complex phenomenon to a simplistic model consisting of only 4 factors.
1) It is a cognitive model and consequently takes cognitive approach into consideration. It is neither nature nor nurture and therefore takes both into consideration. Thus it is interactionist as it is not bias towards one or the other but is impartial to both arguments providing a stronger argument for adherence to medical regimes.
2) It can be applied to everyday life which proves its usefulness as the findings show when there is perceived seriousness and susceptibility, mothers adhered to medical regimes. It also demonstrated how if costs of adherence to medication regimes is high then adherence is low which allows people to then create intervention programmes to reduce cost and increase adherence
3) The sample size from Becker’s study is quite big as 111 mothers were used from a wide range of ages which increased sample representative and generalizability. It is a big enough sample size to represent other mothers who are treating their children at home for asthma. Locus...
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