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The irrational health beliefs scale and health behaviors in a non-clinical population

Pitel, Lukáš; Ballová Mikušková, Eva


Eva Ballová Mikušková


To date, there has been inconclusive evidence on the predictive ability of health-related cognitive distortion, as measured by the Irrational Health Belief Scale (IHBS), regarding health behaviors (HBs). The aims of our study were to provide a validation of the Slovak translation of the IHBS and to assess the relationship of the IHBS with a wide range of HBs, as well as the predictive ability of the IHBS regarding HBs over and above other health-related psychological constructs. A total of 448 students attending mostly Slovak universities completed the IHBS, the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale, the Big Five Inventory - 2, the Positive and Negative Affect Scale, and the Bratislava Health Behaviors Questionnaire. The internal consistency and temporal stability of the Slovak version of the IHBS were confirmed. The IHBS correlated moderately with medical adherence but was unrelated to substance use and an unhealthy diet. The association of cognitive distortion with the sum score of HBs was only weak, albeit statistically significant. The IHBS had weak but significant incremental power. However, two health locus of control dimensions as well as negative emotionality were more strongly related to HBs than cognitive distortion in that multivariate model.


Pitel, L., & Ballová Mikušková, E. (in press). The irrational health beliefs scale and health behaviors in a non-clinical population. European Journal of Health Psychology,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 7, 2021
Online Publication Date Mar 17, 2021
Deposit Date Apr 6, 2021
Publicly Available Date Mar 18, 2022
Journal European Journal of Health Psychology
Print ISSN 2512-8442
Electronic ISSN 2512-8450
Publisher Hogrefe
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Health beliefs; Health behavior; Cognitive distortion; Personality; Irrational Health Beliefs Scale
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