Application of the Health Belief Model and Social Cognitive Theory for Osteoporosis Preventive Nutritional Behaviors in a Sample of Iranian Women

Iran J Nurs Midwifery Res. Mar-Apr 2016;21(2):131-41. doi: 10.4103/1735-9066.178231.


Background: Osteoporosis is the most common metabolic bone disease. The purpose of this study is to investigate the health belief model (HBM) and social cognitive theory (SCT) for osteoporosis preventive nutritional behaviors in women.

Materials and methods: In this quasi-experimental study, 120 patients who were women and registered under the health centers in Fasa City, Fars Province, Iran were selected. A questionnaire consisting of HBM constructs and the constructs of self-regulation and social support from SCT was used to measure nutrition performance. Bone mineral density was recorded at the lumbar spine and femur. The intervention for the experimental group included 10 educational sessions of 55-60 min of speech, group discussion, questions and answers, as well as posters and educational pamphlets, film screenings, and PowerPoint displays. Data were analyzed using SPSS 19 via Chi-square test, independent t-test, and repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) at a significance level of 0.05.

Results: After intervention, the experimental group showed a significant increase in the HBM constructs, self-regulation, social support, and nutrition performance, compared to the control group. Six months after the intervention, the value of lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) T-score increased to 0.127 in the experimental group, while it reduced to -0.043 in the control group. The value of the hip BMD T-score increased to 0.125 in the intervention group, but it decreased to -0.028 in the control group.

Conclusions: This study showed the effectiveness of HBM and constructs of self-regulation and social support on adoption of nutrition behaviors and increase in the bone density to prevent osteoporosis.

Keywords: Health belief model; Iran; nutrition; nutritional status; self-regulation; social cognitive theory; social support.