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Critique of Health-Belief Model by R. Davidhizar Essay

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Updated: Jun 30th, 2020


According to Walker and Avant (1995), concept analysis refers to the effort to illustrate and define a group of data and to elaborate its importance. The primary objective of concept analysis is to examine the main idea critically to identify the themes of the design. Concept analysis is widely used in the nursing field. It helps in the formulation of nursing procedures that are critical to alleviating human suffering. As education and knowledge continue to evolve, speculations are high that the connotations of varied concepts and models are likely to change.

Selected concept

This report seeks to critique the notion of health-related behavior concerning nursing practices. The article was written by Ruth Davidhizar and published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2006. Health-related behavior is an important concept for nurses. Knowing and being able to envisage and control health behavior are all important if nurses wish to achieve patient participation and co-operation. Nurses spend most of their time with patients. Consequently, they are better placed to control health behavior. Optimal relation with patients is the product of careful implementation of the concept (Davidhizar, 2006).

The reason this article was selected was to help the nurses to understand the various health-related behaviors that contribute to the patient recovery process. Therefore, we strive to improve this behavior. A precise knowledge of the basis of behavior is critical to foresee change. What’s more, a precise knowledge of the cause is vital for the nurses to formulate mechanisms for dealing with health behavior.

Aims of the concept

Davidhizar (2006) compiled her article with two objectives in mind. First, she aimed at using the health belief model to identify health-related behavior, which nurses can exploit to engender patient participation and co-operation. Since nurses have close ties with the patient, they have an opportunity to influence the patient to participate in nursing procedures. Understanding health-related behavior would go a long way towards helping the nurses to establish an optimal relation with patients (Davidhizar, 2006).

The second objective of the concept of health-related behavior was to help nurses and medical practitioners to establish techniques for envisaging and addressing changes that might arise due to health-related behavior (Davidhizar, 2006). Nurses can make a noteworthy contribution to the patient recovery process by understanding all environmental and social factors that limit the healing process. They can determine these factors by understanding people’s reactions to disease screening, prevention, and maintenance.

Uses of the concept

The idea of health-related behavior has been used in numerous health-related areas. The concept has been used to “develop effective interventions to behavioral changes by targeting various aspects of the notion’s core constructs” (Alligood & Tomey, 2011, p. 74). According to Alligood and Tomey (2011), the concept of health-related behavior can be used to promote self-efficacy by offering instruction in particular health-supporting behaviors. The concept has been used in studying diabetes, nutrition, and breast health. Gutierrez and Long carried out a study in 2011 to determine how health-related behavior affects people who have diabetes. In the study, they looked at several factors that influence a patient’s behavior. These aspects include perceived susceptibility, benefits, severity, barriers, and self-efficacy. The study focused on the patient’s belief about diabetes, its gravity as a health problem, and how the beliefs influence health behavior. Moreover, the research focused on factors that contribute to a patient not following a treatment procedure (Davidhizar, 2006).

Nutrition beliefs influence people’s desire to be healthy (Conner & Norman, 1996). People with knowledge about nutrition demonstrate nutrition confidence. Such people have faith in whatever they always eat and are conscious of their health. What’s more, positive health beliefs make people change their eating habits and engage in physical activities. Eating habits and lack of physical exercise are considered as some of the health-related behaviors that lead to illnesses. Therefore, scholars and medical professionals pay considerable attention to nutrition and diet beliefs in a bid to determine their correlation with health. In the nutrition field, the concept of health-related behavior is used to determine what makes people adopt certain eating behaviors (Conner & Norman, 1996). Additionally, the concept is used to determine if there is an association between eating behaviors and health beliefs.

Many child-giving women are vulnerable to breast cancer. Moreover, the majority of women who have breast cancer do not realize until the disease becomes full-blown. Therefore, it becomes hard for the doctors to treat the disease, leading to women losing their breast. Medical professionals have identified breast self-examination (BSE) as one of the methods of preventing and detecting breast cancer. Nevertheless, still, many women do not practice breast self-examination to determine if they have signs of breast cancer. The concept of health-related behavior is used to educate women on the importance of BSE. According to Conner and Norman (1996), negative health-related behaviors like failure to run breast self-examination and to undertake mammography are some of the practices that perpetuate breast cancer. The concept of health-related behavior is used in the field of breast cancer to enlighten women on the benefits of self-examination.

Critical attributes

Walker and Avant refer to key attributes as “The structures that locate the occurrence of a concept” (1995, p. 39). The critical characteristics of health-related behavior include “Perceived vulnerability, perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, cues to action and self-efficacy” (Glanz, Rimer & Lewis, 2002, p. 46). Perceived vulnerability refers to an individual’s belief in the probability of getting into a circumstance. Perceived severity refers to an individual’s view of how severe a condition and its impacts are. Perceived benefits apply to an individual’s trust in the effectiveness of the prescribed actions to mitigate danger or severity of effects. The other critical attribute is perceived barriers, which refers to a person’s perception of the emotional and tangible constraints of the prescribed action. Cues to action are another essential attribute of health-related behavior, which means plans to trigger “readiness” (Davidhizar, 2006). Self-efficacy is the individual’s capacity to take action.

Model case

Davidhizar’s article gives an instance of youths who explain the reasons they prefer using condoms. Some of the youths argue that failure to use a condom may expose them to sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS. Others allege that the effects of getting sexually transmitted infections are dire enough to try to circumvent. However, some youths claim that they are unable to use condoms because they feel mortified to initiate the discussion about condoms with their partners (Davidhizar, 2006). The case model presents several critical attributes, among them, perceived vulnerability, where the youths believe that failure to use a condom would expose them to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The other critical attribute is perceived severity, where the teenagers think that it’s worth to avoid the impacts of STIs. What’s more, the quality of perceived barriers is also portrayed where the youths claim that they feel ashamed to discuss condom use.

Borderline case

Davidhizar (2006) gives an account of one youth who is sexually active. The youth uses protective measures all the time he engages in sexual activities and is confident that he uses them accordingly. Nevertheless, the youth complains that his partner is not faithful. He believes that the partner has other clandestine relationships, which might expose them to STIs (Davidhizar, 2006). The critical attribute in this scenario is emotional and not perceived vulnerability.

Related case

Walker and Avant (1995) claim that related cases, in many instances, lack critical attributes, but are linked to the concept. Such cases help to improve the importance of a concept. Davidhizar’s article gives a case of an individual who participates in physical activities and is conscious of his diet. He exercises regularly and makes sure that he takes a balanced diet.

What’s more, he always visits his doctor for advice on health issues. However, he was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. The doctor told him that his case was hereditary, and it did not come as a result of poor eating habits or lack of exercise (Davidhizar, 2006). The issue here is the man’s inability to manage diabetes even after engaging in physical exercise and eating a balanced diet.

Contrary case

The opposite case spells out the meaning of the concept by focusing on what the concept does not entails (Walker & Avant, 1995). Davidhizar (2006) gives an example of a 35-year-old man who is a gym instructor. The man spends most of his time in the gym, which means that he exercises regularly. What’s more, he confirms that he highly values healthy eating. The man said that he had never shown any signs of diabetes, and the level of his blood sugar was always stable. The critical attributes are not manifested in this case. The man engages in activities that keep him healthy, and he is happy with his life (Davidhizar, 2006).

Antecedents and consequences of the concept

Antecedents refer to incidences that take place before concept realization (Walker & Avant, 1995). Contracting diabetes due to unhealthy behavior like the poor eating habit is antecedent to health-related behavior. Health-related behaviors may also manifest when a person is unable to manage his weight. Some of the consequences of health-related behavior include diseases like diabetes and obesity.

Empirical Referents

Experimental referents of health-related behavior are quantifiable happenings whose occurrence demonstrates the presence of the concept. In this case, health-related behaviors are identified by “preventive health behaviors, sick role behaviors, and clinic use” (Davidhizar, 2006, p. 469). A health-related behavior study shows that people engage in preventive health behavior when they feel vulnerable to diseases. The study was conducted on a group of immigrants vulnerable to Tuberculosis.

The concept in the research proposal

The concept of health-related behavior is used in the research project to determine how health-related behavior helps to avert illnesses. Most of the literature reviews call for scholars to come up with appropriate models to help in understanding health and how it is related to some behaviors.

Concept analysis in the research proposal

The idea of health-related behavior is used in research to elaborate on how health behavior can help in treating and averting various diseases. Moreover, it contributes to bringing out critical traits that are crucial for a concept.


According to the literature review, health-related behavior is critical to averting such illnesses as diabetes and obesity. Youths, immigrants, and the entire society are at the risk of suffering from diseases related to unhealthy behavior. Some of the critical attributes of health-related behavior include perceived vulnerability, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers.

Reference List

Alligood, M., & Tomey, A. (2011). Nursing Theorist and their works. Missouri: Elsevier.

Conner, M., & Norman, P. (1996). Predicting Health Behavior: Search and Practice with Social Cognition Models. New York: Open University Press.

Davidhizar, R. (2006). Critique of health-belief model. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 8(6), 467-472.

Glanz, K., Rimer, B., & Lewis, F. (2002). Health Behavior and Health Education. Theory, Research and Practice. San Francisco: Wiley & Sons.

Walker, L., & Avant, K. (1995). Concept analysis. In Strategies for theory construction in nursing. East Noewalk, CT: Appleton and Lange.

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