Quarterly scientific journal

The health belief model in patients with diabetic retinopathy: possibilities and limitations

Anna Patsopoulou , Stergios Kravaritis , Stilianos Terzoudis


Introduction: Diabetic Retinopathy (DA) is the most important complication of Diabetes Mellitus (DM) worldwide. The most important theoretical tool for the study is considered to be the Belief Model for Health (HBM). 

Aim: The present study aimed to describe the HBM and its factors as a framework for studying diabetics for the prevention of DR  as well as the critical view of the model.

Material and method: The review of the Greek and international literature was based on the search through the electronic databases Medline OvidSP, PubMed publisher and Google Scholar with the following keywords: Health Belief Model, self-efficacy, behaviour.

Results: HBM is a useful tool for the implementation of prevention and health promotion programs, such as that of diabetic retinopathy for diabetic patients. The indicators of the expanded HBM (severity, vulnerability, existing obstacles, expected benefits, indications for action and self-efficacy) have a significant impact on the beliefs. Several studies have found the inability of the model to include behaviours that have to do with habit, environment, emotional motivation, demographic characteristics and socio-economic context.

Conclusions: HBM is perhaps the most useful tool in the effort to modify the preventive behaviour of diabetic patients towards DR. Interventions in the population of diabetic patients are considered necessary. The critical view of the model presents weaknesses and limitations that should be the driving force for further analysis and more complete application of the model.

Keywords: Health Belief Model, self-efficacy, behaviour

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