Utilizing the health belief model to predict the purchase intention of over-the-counter diet drugs


  • Silvia Villaverde ESIC Business and Marketing School
  • Diana Gavilan Complutense University of Madrid
  • Maria Avello Complutense University of Madrid




health belief model, diet drugs, purchase intention, weight loss


Introduction: One out of two packages of medicines sold in Europe is a non-prescription medicinal product. Research on consumer decisions in terms of health has traditionally been explained based on the Health Belief Model. However, no research we are aware of has investigated the purchasing of drugs with an aim of improving health.

Objectives: Test the suitability of the Health Belief Model in the explanation of the purchase intention of over-the-counter diet drugs to improve a health problem, particularly weight.

Methods: A quantitative transversal design was used. An online self-reported questionnaire was administered to a sample of 193 subjects.

Results: Results show a significant influence of all the dimensions of the health belief model on the purchase intention of overthe-counter diet drugs. However, the relationship between barriers to taking action and the intention to purchase was reversed to that predicted.

Conclusion: Results suggest that the health belief model is suitable for the explanation of the individuals´ intention to purchase over-the-counter diet drugs. Key findings will allow the pharmaceutical industry to design communication strategies based on deep consumer knowledge. Future research may deepen into variables such as the influence of word-of-mouth in health-oriented behavior, as well as consumer’s confidence in the properties of the products that allegedly help to adjust weight.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Silvia Villaverde, ESIC Business and Marketing School

Lecturer at ESIC Business and Marketing School

Diana Gavilan, Complutense University of Madrid

Associate Professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Maria Avello, Complutense University of Madrid

Associate Professor at Universidad Complutense de Madrid.


Ahadzadeh, A. S., Sharif, S. P., Ong, F. S., & Khong, K. W. (2015). Integrating health belief model and technology acceptance model: an investigation of health-related internet use. Journal of medical Internet research, 17(2).

Anderson, M. M. (2013). Testing the Health Belief Model Using Prostate Cancer Screening Intention: Comparing Four Statistical Approaches Applied to Data from the 2008-09 Nashville Men's Preventive Health Survey (Doctoral dissertation, Vanderbilt University).

Bandura, A. (1977). Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review, 84(2), 191-215.

Champion, V. L., & Skinner, C. S. (2008). The health belief model. Health behavior and health education: Theory, research, and practice, 4, 45-65.

Chen, J. Fox, S, Cantrell, C, Stockdale, S. & Kagawa-Singer M. (2007). Health disparities and prevention: Racial/ethnic barriers to flu vaccinations. Journal of Community Health, 32(1), 5-20.

Cockburn J., Fahey P. & Sanson-Fisher R. (1987). Construction and validation of a questionnaire to measure the health beliefs of general practice patients. Family Practice, 4(2), 108-116.

Daddario, D. (2007). A Review of the Use of the Health Belief Model for Weight. Medsurg Nursing, 16(6), 363-366.

Day, A. K., Wilson, C., Roberts, R. M., & Hutchinson, A. D. (2014). The skin cancer and sun knowledge (SCSK) scale: validity, reliability, and relationship to sun-related behaviors among young western adults. Health Education & Behavior, 41(4), 440-448.

East, R., Hammond, K., & Lomax, W. (2008). Measuring the impact of positive and negative word of mouth on brand purchase probability. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 25(3), 215-224.

Frankenfield, K. M. (2009). Health Belief Model of breast cancer screening for female college students. Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations submitted to the School of Health Promotion and Human Performance Eastern Michigan University.

Garcia, K., & Mann, T. (2003). From ‘I wish’to ‘I will’: Social-cognitive predictors of behavioral intentions. Journal of Health Psychology, 8(3), 347-360.

Gavilan, D., Avello, M. & Abril, C. (2014). Shopper marketing: A new challenge for Spanish community pharmacies. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, 10(6), 125-136.

Hu, L.T. & Bentler, P.M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural equation modeling: a multidisciplinary journal, 6(1), 1-55.

James, A., Campbell M., & Hudson M. (2002). Perceived Barriers and Benefits to Colon Cancer Screening among African Americans in North Carolina: How Does Perception Relate to Screening Behavior. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 11(6), 529-534.

James D., Pobee J., Oxidine D., Brown L., & Joshi G. (2012). Using the Health Belief Model to Develop Culturally Appropriate Weight Management Materials for African-American Women. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 112(5), 664-670.

Janz N., & Becker M. (1984). The health belief model: A decade later. Health Education Quarterly, 11(1), 1-47.

Jones, C. L., Jensen, J. D., Scherr, C. L., Brown, N. R., Christy, K., &

Weaver, J. (2015). The health belief model as an explanatory framework in communication research: exploring parallel, serial, and moderated mediation. Health communication, 30(6), 566-576.

Kang Y, Jin K, & Lee H. (1998). Factors influencing weight control intention of obese adolescents. Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine, 31, 199-214.

Lara, C. V., Pérez, C. L., Amézquita, M., Cortés, J., Guerra, M., Castiblanco, A. H., & Ordóñez, J. (2009). Diseño del cuestionario de creencias referidas al consumo de alcohol para jóvenes universitarios. Diversitas, 5(2), 337-347.

Nejad, L. M., Wertheim, E. H., & Greenwood, K. (2005). Comparison of the health belief model and the theory of planned behavior in the prediction of dieting and fasting behavior. Sensoria: A Journal of Mind, Brain & Culture, 1(1), 63-74.

Park, D. Y. (2011). Utilizing the Health Belief Model to predicting female middle school students' behavioral intention of weight reduction by weight status. Nutrition research and practice, 5(4), 337-348.

Puhl, R. M., & Heuer, C. A. (2010). Obesity stigma: important considerations for public health. American journal of public health, 100(6), 1019-1028.

Rosenstock, I. M., Derryberry, M., & Carriger, B. K. (1959). Why people fail to seek poliomyelitis vaccination. Public health reports, 74(2), 98.

Rabjohn, N., Cheung, C. M., & Lee, M. K. (2008). Examining the perceived credibility of online opinions: information adoption in the

online environment. In Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Proceedings of the 41st Annual (pp. 286-286). IEEE.

Sullivan, K. A., White, K. M., Young, R. M., Chang, A., Roos, C., &

Scott, C. (2008). Predictors of intention to reduce stroke risk among people at risk of stroke: An application of an extended health belief model. Rehabilitation Psychology, 53(4), 505-512.




How to Cite

Villaverde, S., Gavilan, D., & Avello, M. (2018). Utilizing the health belief model to predict the purchase intention of over-the-counter diet drugs. Millenium - Journal of Education, Technologies, and Health, 2(5), 35–42. https://doi.org/10.29352/mill0205.03.00168



Life and Healthcare Sciences