The application of health behavior theory in instructional design was illustrated by describing the use of Rogers' protection motivation theory (PMT) for the development and production of a video curriculum for a bloodborne pathogens training program for hospital nurses. The problem of universal precautions compliance among health care workers was briefly reviewed as was the PMT. For the current study this theory was adapted to current evidence regarding the role of affective mediating variables in determining health behaviors. The incorporation of the four theory constructs, probability of occurrence, magnitude of noxiousness, response efficacy, and self efficacy, into the planning, shooting, and editing of the educational videotapes was described in detail. The theoretical constructs of the modified PMT were operationalized in the video training materials following structured interviews with health care workers. Based on these results two different video tapes emphasizing stories of health care workers' exposure experiences with blood borne pathogens and the influence of these events on the workers and their families were made. In one tape the exposures of nonclinical health care workers was emphasized, while the other emphasized exposure of nurses. Preliminary data on self reports of affective responses felt during viewing of the videotapes produced using the PMT for this study and of an off the shelf tape suggested greater negative emotions associated with the study tapes than with the off the shelf tape. The authors conclude that adaptation of a commonly used health message theory to fit current evidence about the importance of emotional arousal may add to the understanding of the role of emotions in health behavior change processes.