Health Promotion and the Health Belief Model: Role of Nurses

One of the most critical roles of nurses is healthcare promotion through physical and, recently, virtual education. By creating awareness among communities, they contribute to emerging disease prevention, response, and management. Unlike in the previous centuries, the world currently has a more diverse population. Therefore, there is no one-fit-all strategy to educate and promote health care across the different populations with different cultures. Nursing practice is gradually evolving to find ways to accommodate, change or eliminate harmful practices within communities, such as female circumcision, without being judgmental (ODPHP, 2020 a). Compared to the other medical professionals, nurses spend the most time with patients, therefore they must get equipped with the right skills to enable them to promote health accordingly without bias.

Cultural competence is essential in enhancing positive patient outcomes and promoting medical research accuracy. Culturally different ethnic groups and subgroups present challenges that can only be overcome if the nurses are culturally sensitive. Therefore, nurses need to familiarize themselves with different perspectives of healthcare within diverse populations and cultures. They must avoid making assumptions as they could create more barriers (ODPHP, 2020 b). This way, a nurse can influence more people regardless of age, race, or gender to engage in health-promoting activities: healthy eating, constant exercising, a proper sleep schedule, avoiding stressful activities, and general hygiene.

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The Health Belief Model

The health belief model is a hypothetical model that postulates that a patient’s probability of being sick or healing of an illness is solely based on the patient’s cultural belief and outlook. For example, in the black community, the men believe that they are strong and do not fall ill frequently or need to go to the hospital (Plowden, 2003). Using the health belief model, a nurse can understand the perspective of the black man, come up with a plan to educate him using the language he understands best. That will eventually convince him that his body needs care just as much a woman’s body does. There may be a barrier to making him change his mind because he is afraid of looking weak before other people. However, when presented with facts and the possible consequences of his actions, such as serious illnesses or death, the man could conclude that his ego is less important. He is then likely to follow the nurse’s plan and move from inaction to action. The model enables the nurse to remain patient, accommodative, sensitive, and understanding towards the patient.

References

ODPHP. (2020 a). Education accessand quality – Healthy People 2030 | health.gov. Health.

ODPHP. (2020 b). Educational and community-based programs | Healthy People 2020. Healthy People. Web.

Plowden, K. (2003). A theoretical approach to understanding black men’s health-seeking behavior. Journal of Theory Construction & Testing, 7(1), 27-31.

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