• chronic obstructive pulmonary disease;
  • health belief model;
  • nursing intervention;
  • pulmonary function;
  • self-efficacy

Aims and objectives

To test the effect of a Health Belief Model-based nursing intervention on healthcare outcomes in Chinese patients with moderate to severe COPD.


The Health Belief Model (HBM) has been internationally validated in a variety of chronic conditions. However, nursing intervention based on the HBM is less explored in Chinese patients with COPD.


A randomised controlled trial.


Enrolled patients were randomly assigned to the intervention and control groups. Patients in the intervention group received a 20- to 30-minute HBM-based nursing intervention every 2 days during the hospitalisation period after disease conditions were stable, with additional follow-ups after discharge. Patients in the control group received routine nursing care.


Patients had significantly increased scores of health belief and self-efficacy after receiving the HBM-based nursing intervention. After receiving the 3-month follow-up, patients in the intervention group had significantly higher mean total scores in the Health Belief Scale and the COPD Self-Efficacy Scale, as well as in all the subscales, than those in the control group except the perceived disease seriousness. Results showed that the value of FEV1/FVC ratio had a significant difference between study groups before and after the intervention. Results also indicated that mean scores of the Dyspnea Scale, 6-minute walking distance and ADL were significantly different between the groups and between the study time-points.


Among patients with moderate to severe COPD, nursing intervention based on the HBM can enhance their health belief and self-efficacy towards the disease management, decrease dyspnoea and improve exercise tolerance and ADL.

Relevance to clinical practice

Nurses can use the HBM-based intervention to enhance patients' health belief and self-efficacy towards the management of COPD, and subsequently benefit healthcare outcomes.