Operationalizing theoretical constructs in bloodborne pathogens training curriculum

Raymond C. Sinclair, Robyn R.M. Gershon, Lawrence R. Murphy, Linda M. Goldenhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes how the protection motivation theory (PMT) was used to inform the production of video curriculum for a bloodborne pathogens training program for hospital nurses. Although hospital nurses are well acquainted with the work practices designed to prevent bloodborne pathogen exposures (universal precautions), there is evidence that they do not always follow them. First, the onginal PMT is adapted to reflect what is currently known about the role of affect in health behavior prediction. Second, the authors show how the four PMT message constructs-probability of occurrence, magnitude of noxiousness, response efficacy, and self-efficacy-guided the planning, shooting, and editing of the videotapes. Incidental to this process was the operationalization of these message constructs in such a way that affective reactions would result. The results show that this video curriculum successfully aroused negative affect in the target audience. Only by carefully planning and documenting how message constructs are operationalized in health education materials can one be sure of achieving theory-based (and thus the most replicable) message design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)238-255
Number of pages18
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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