Using the Health Belief Model to explain patient involvement in patient safety

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Abstract

Background

With the knowledge that patient safety incidents can significantly impact patients, providers and health-care organizations, greater emphasis on patient involvement as a means to mitigate risks warrants further research.

Objective

To understand whether patient perceptions of patient safety play a role in patient involvement in factual and challenging patient safety practices and whether the constructs of the Health Belief Model (HBM) help to explain such perceptions.

Design

Partial least squares (PLS) analysis of survey data.

Setting and Participants

Four inpatient units located in two tertiary hospitals in Atlantic Canada. Patients discharged from participating units between November 2010 and January 2011.

Intervention

None.

Results

A total of 217 of the 587 patient surveys were returned for a final response rate of 37.0%. The PLS analysis revealed relationships between patient perceptions of threat and self-efficacy and the performance of factual and challenging patient safety practices, explaining 46 and 42% of the variance, respectively.

Discussion

The results from this study provide evidence for the constructs and relationships set forth by the HBM. Perceptions of patient safety were shown to influence patient likelihood for engaging in selected patient safety practices. While perceptions of barriers and benefits and threats were found to be a contributing factor to patient involvement in patient safety practices, self-efficacy plays an important role as a mediating factor.

Conclusions

Overall, the use of the HBM within patient safety provides for increased understanding of how such perceptions can be influenced to improve patient engagement in promoting safer health care.

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