An examination of the Health Belief Model when applied to Diabetes mellitus
Previous research studies which have used Health Belief Model (I-IBM) dimensions in order to understand health outcomes have many problems which prevent clear and reliable conclusions about their results. Studies about diabetes-related health beliefs have proved to be no exception to this rule. The research presented here is an attempt to address some of these problems which include the lack of satisfactory scales to measure diabetes-related health beliefs, the use of heterogeneous samples of patients with different disease and regimen types, and the lack of prospective studies in which health beliefs are used to predict outcomes in the future. Another major problem which applies to all HBM research is that the relationships between the various dimensions of the model have not been determined. As such, the HBM is not a model at all but a catalogue of variables. The present research aimed to specify the relationships between the components of the HBM and attempted to integrate self-efficacy and locus of control beliefs in order to extend the model and improve the amount of outcome variance explained. Scales to measure diabetes-specific health beliefs were developed from the responses of 187 tablet-treated outpatients with Type II diabetes. Health beliefs were examined, on the one hand, in relation to other psychological and behavioural variables, and on the other, for their sensitivity to change after educational and treatment interventions. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal study designs were employed. The relationships between the HBM components themselves were explored in a linear and non-linear fashion.