Health Belief Model – have a go!

Matt, 45, is shocked to discover that one of his best friends has recently died from a heart attack. His friend was one of his ‘drinking buddies’ and generally lived a sedentary lifestyle (just like Matt). It dawns on Matt that his lifestyle is not so different from that of his recently deceased friend, and that his sedentary and very unhealthy lifestyle could also lead to heart disease (or worse). Whilst sitting down for his usual evening in front of the television, he sees a news documentary about the amount of preventable deaths that occur in the UK each year due to people leading a sedentary lifestyle. His wife then exerts pressure on him to change his ways or “you will end up like your mate”.

Using the Health Belief Model, write in the boxes below Matt’s perceptions and modifying factors (if given):
Health Belief Model example

Matt weighs up the pros and cons of his current lifestyle and looks at all the barriers in his way to increasing his physical activity levels. He comes to you for some advice. What benefits can you give Matt for increasing his physical activity level?

Matt now sees that there are far more benefits of increasing physical activity/exercise levels, and he also sees that his current sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy behaviours are potentially leading to serious health problems. What do you think the likely outcome may be for Matt?