6 Jul 2022


Application of Health Belief Model among Youth at High Risk for Obesity in West Bank (Palestine)

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Health behaviors is a major contributor of most of this era’s public health issues. Models/theories have therefore been developed by socialists, which have been used in prediction of people’s health choices. Health belief theory/model is one of the most commonly applied model in health education and promotion (Bastable, 2014). It was originally formulated in 1966 by Rosenstock. It is a psychological model that is focused on explaining and predicting health behaviors. The concept behind this theory is that individual beliefs and perceptions of a particular health condition as well as the strategies that are in place for the decrease of its occurrence determine health behavior. The model consists of a number of theoretical constructs. These include four perceptions, i.e. susceptibility, seriousness, benefits and barriers, self-efficacy, cues to action and motivating factors. The purpose of this essay is to explore and analyze how the health behavior model has been applied in a research study, and how it has been used to explain the behavior of youths with a high risk for obesity in West bank, Palestine. 

The researchers of this study managed to use this theory as a framework for the study where the main aim of the research study was to evaluate the effects of applying the health belief model amongst the youths who were at a high risk of obesity in West Bank. Additionally, the hypothesis of the research study was also based on the health belief model where the researchers hypothesized that the health belief model would improve the knowledge and practices of the youths with regards to obesity. The methodology of the study involved three research tools, where one of the tool used was the health belief model sub-constructs. In this, seven variables were used and they include: perceived self-efficacy in dietary life, perceived self-efficacy in exercise, perceived barriers, and cues of action, perceived benefits, behavioral intention of weight reduction and perceived threats. 

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Application of the health belief model in the research study led to the youths’ improved knowledge with regards to obesity and its risk levels. The number of youths with knowledge about obesity before the HBM program were significantly less than those who had the same knowledge after the program (Soliman, Elsayied & Shouli, 2018). According to the study, this change in knowledge was accompanied by significant change in health behaviors and as a result there was a marked significant difference of the behaviors of the youths between pre and post health belief model program. This theory was applied to investigate factors affecting behavioral intentions of the youths, as well as behaviors about weight reduction. Theoretically, perceived self-efficacy is an individual’s belief that they are capable of accomplishing something (Bastable, 2014). This construct stipulates that an individual will do something that they believe they can do while deflecting from the things that they believe they can’t do. In this research study, perceived self-efficacy is divided into two parts; in dietary and in exercise. If a person believes that they can change their dietary and exercise plans, they will perform the action that will ultimately lead to weight reduction (Lee & Ha, 2013). This has been explained in this study where there is a significant increase in the number of youths who performed exercises after the application of the HBM. Considering the fact that there is a great difference between the number of people performing exercises pre and post HBM application, the variable of perceived efficacy is significant to overweight youths who have a higher intention for weight reduction. In addition, change in dieting plans among a significant number of youths after the program shows the positive outcome of applying this model in the research study (Pesa, 2013). The results established that these variables were directly associated with behavioral intention of reducing weight. Additionally, the researchers established that, perceived threat is a significant variable for the obese youths (Soliman, Elsayied & Shouli, 2018). 

Social influences to the overweight patients also affect their behavioral intention for reducing weight. These are the social cues to action and they are the things that push people to change the behaviors that they currently practice. According to this study, family, friends, and mass media are some of the social influences that can affect an individual’s intention to reduce weight (Soliman, Elsayied & Shouli, 2018). The model explains that cues to action are highly effective in encouraging individuals to change their behaviors and thereby reduce their chances of acquiring certain diseases (Bastable, 2014). The study explains that social environment is an important factor that can affect the weight reduction behavior of youths. Considering the fact that obesity is a condition majorly affected by health behaviors, change in behaviors can positively affect the affected individuals and individuals who are at risk of developing obesity. 

The conclusion of the study established that the application of health belief model had a great effect on the knowledge of the youths about obesity and levels of risk for obesity. According to the study, the most significant variables for predicting behavioral intention of reducing weight are cues to action, perceived threats and perceived self-efficacy (Soliman, Elsayied & Shouli, 2018). 

In summary, the study has been able to effectively apply the health behavior model to explain the behavior of the youths with a high risk for obesity. This is particularly because, both the dependent and the independent variables of the HBM sub-constructs measured in the study recorded a significant change after the application of the HBM model as compared to before the application of the model. Use of this model in the study to explain behavior of the subjects was effective especially because most of the results were consistent with the theoretical claims of the model. As a result, the study was able to establish the importance of Health Belief Model in disease prevention as well as health promotion programs. It is important to note that all the key elements of this model focus on a person’s belief and perceptions about a particular health condition. It is these perceptions and belief that influences a person’s health seeking behavior. Moreover, various behaviors that evoke certain health concerns can be effectively addressed by implementation of this model. Through understanding and prediction of a client’s behavior in relation to their health, the Health Belief Model effectively addresses the relationship between an individual’s belief and behaviors. 


Bastable, S. B. (2014). Nurse as educator: Principles of teaching and learning for nursing practice . Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning. 

Lee, J. S., & Ha, B. J. (2013). A study of the dietary attitude, dietary self-efficacy and nutrient intake among middle school students with different obesity indices in Gyeong-Nam. Korean Journal of Community Nutrition. 8, 171-80. 

Pesa J. (2013): Psychosocial factors associated with dieting behaviors among female adolescents. Journal of School Health. 69, 196-201. 

Soliman, M. N., Elsayied, H. A., & Shouli, M.M. (2018). Application of Health Belief Model among Youth at High Risk for Obesity in West Bank (Palestine). American Journal of Nursing Science. 7 (3-1), 86-96. Doi: 10.11648/j.ajns.s.2018070301.23 

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Application of Health Belief Model among Youth at High Risk for Obesity in West Bank (Palestine).


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