If they only understood the statistics. There are 100,000 to 300,000 VTE deaths per year in the US, and VTE is ahead of accidents (unintentional injuries), chronic lower respiratory diseases, Stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.
Crumley used the Health Belief Model, developed in the early 1950s, to evaluate how patients with a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) responded to a patient education handout about post-thrombotic syndrome prevention.
“You can educate people all you want, but that doesn't necessarily translate into action. This model helps explain what it takes to motivate patients to change their behavior," Crumley said.
The Health Belief model started with four tenets but expanded to six over the years:
- Perceived susceptibility: patients' perception of their chances of becoming ill.
- Perceived severity: patients' perception of how severe the illness may be if it is left untreated.
- Perceived benefits: patients' perception of how they benefit if they do take the recommended actions.
- Perceived barriers: patients' beliefs regarding obstacles that could prevent them from acting on recommendations.
- Cue to action: the stimulus patients need to act upon the recommendations.
- Self-efficacy: the patients' confidence in being able to comply with the recommendations.
Patients may understand that there's a high risk of a blood clot in their leg (perceived susceptibility), and that if they take anticoagulants, they reduce their risk (perceived benefit), but they may also believe that the risk will simply go away. They may not fully understand the risk of not taking medications regularly (perceived severity) or not following recommendations on being mobile and/or using compression devices.
Crumley explained that once the patient understands the severity of the situation, explanations regarding the benefits and effectiveness of the therapies that can reduce the risk of venous thromboembolism are better understood, and more likely to result in the right patient behaviors.