The health belief model is a useful tool in health education as it assesses the patient’s perception of the disease process on their lives and their readiness to make changes in their lives based on those perceptions. A patient who is s/p MI must make dietary and activity level adjustments to their lives and can make the patient feel overwhelmed at the mountain of lifestyle changes heading their way (Eldeman & Mandle, 2010). Using the health belief model, the nurse can assess the current dietary and activity habits of the patient, their perception of the severity of the condition requiring lifestyle changes, and together with the patient, formulate a plan consisting of multiple small changes that yield healthy results, while encouraging the patient to see the benefits of altering their lifestyle.
Patients are more likely to make necessary changes when they perceive the outcomes as personally beneficial, and making several, small changes, such as using fresh green beans instead of canned to decrease the sodium intake, helps the patient to feel more in control and gives them confidence by decreasing the overwhelming feelings that large changes can invoke.
An appropriate nursing diagnosis for this patient would be: Anxiety related to changes in environment and routines and as evidenced by expressions of inadequacy in make necessary changes (Gulanick, 2007). Appropriate interventions would be :
Assess the patient’s readiness to learn, current lifestyle habits, knowledge of health condition, and desired learning mode (i.e. visual, auditory, kinesthetic). Allow the patient to express fears and concerns regarding the lifestyle changes.
Develop, with the patient, a strategy for making lifestyle changes building on small short term goals, such as cooking techniques, dietary substitutions to currently enjoyed foods, simple exercise techniques easily incorporated into lifestyle. Provide resource material and/or support groups for patient to utilize once at home. Outcomes for assessing behavior changes:
Patient accurately describes health condition and necessary lifestyle changes. Patient accurately describes techniques for implementing lifestyle changes. Patient expresses confidence in making required lifestyle changes. References
Edelman, Mandle, C. (2010). Health Promotion Throughout the Life Span (7th ed). Mosby. Retrieved from http://pageburstls.elsevier.com/books/9780323056625/id/B9780323056625000103_p0935 Gulanick, M. (2007). Nursing Care Plans: Nursing Diagnosis and Intervention (6th ed). C.V. Mosby. Retrieved from http://pageburstls.elsevier.com/books/0-323-03954-5/2/10
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