What does it take for people to act to protect themselves from illness? This is the fundamental question posed by the framers of the Health Belief Model (HBM), and it has continued to be addressed by researchers over the past five decades in the disciplines of public health, health psychology, and health education.


The HBM was originally developed by Godfrey Hochbaum, Irwin Rosenstock, and other research psychologists in the U.S. Public Health Service in the early 1950s as they applied cognitive and learning theory to understanding and predicting health behavior. The original work in this area grew out of an attempt to understand the limited utilization of public health programs for disease prevention and screening (including tuberculosis screening). The HBM is a value-expectancy theory that attempts ...

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