For this learning activity, you will apply the Health Belief Model to a real-life case.
Imagine that you are working in a health clinic with clients who are trying to lose weight. Jessica is a 21-year-old college student who comes into the clinic. She wants to lose 25 pounds because she has just found out that she is borderline diabetic. If she loses weight she may be able to control her blood sugar with just dietary changes, but if she maintains her current weight, she will probably need to take insulin.
Jessica is concerned about how she can achieve this weight loss since she is very busy. She is in her final year of college, taking a full course load and working full-time as a waitress. Her boyfriend is putting a lot of pressure on her to spend more time with him, and she is worried that if she doesn’t, he may break up with her.
Step 1. Apply the Health Belief Model to this case. 20 points.
1. What is Jessica’s perceived susceptibility to diabetes?
2. What factors (emotional and perceived impact on lifestyle) do you think are likely to be influencing Jessica’s perceived severity of the illness?
3. What might be the perceived benefits for Jessica losing weight now?
4. What might be some of the perceived barriers to Jessica’s losing weight now?
Step 2. Analysis. 20 points.
1. What strategies do you think would be most effective for facilitating Jessica’s weight loss at this time?
2. What challenges might she face in maintaining the weight loss if she is successful?