Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Self-Efficacy and Health Promotion Behaviors of Older Adults in Iran

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Self-Efficacy and Health Promotion Behaviors of Older Adults in Iran

Article excerpt

Increasing healthy behaviors is the major challenge facing health professionals and populations globally. The purpose of this study was to ascertain if a relationship exists between self-efficacy and health promotion behaviors in a sample of older Iranian adults. The organizing framework for the study was Pender's revised Health Promotion Model (Pender, 1996). The study participants were 102 community-dwelling old people residing in Yazd district. The results supported Pender's Health Promotion Model in which self-efficacy accounted for 58% of variance in health promotion behaviors. Health promotion behaviors were found to be correlated with level of education. Additionally, there were associations between self-efficacy and gender, marital status, and level of education. It was concluded that interventions aimed at improving self-efficacy may improve health promotion behaviors of older adults.

Keywords: self-efficacy, older adults, health promotion behaviors

Health promotion is receiving ever-increasing attention regarding the prominent role it plays in health care. The high costs in health care have necessitated a shift in the emphasis of care to the prevention of disease, rather than strictly the treatment of disease (Adams, Bowden, Humphrey, & McAdams, 2000). Historically, the relationship between health promotion and disease prevention has been the focus of study by nurses and other health professionals. However, since the late 1980s, when public attention focused more readily on health promotion, the demand has risen for information to explain the factors that motivate people to seek their health potential (Fender, 1996; Fender, Murdaugh, & Parsons, 2002).

Studies over the last two decades have shown that old people practise a variety of health promotion activities in varying degrees (Fender, 1996; Potts, Hurwicz, Goldstein, & Berkanovic, 1992; Riffle, Yoho, & Sams, 1989; Strawbridge, Camacho, Cohen, & Kaplan, 1993). Health promotion activities benefit old people by preventing or controlling health problems, decreasing disabilities, lowering health care costs, and enhancing a sense of well-being (Frenn, 1996; Kaufman, 1996; Strawbridge et al., 1993). The identification of variables that influence old people to practise health promotion activities should facilitate the planning and provision of interventions to achieve these goals. There is a growing consensus that self-efficacy is among the most important and modifiable predictors of health promotion behaviors (Acton, 2002; Becker, Stuifbergen, Ingalsbe, & Sands, 1989; Bottorff, Johnson, Ranter, & Hayduk, 1996; Duffy, 1997; Shong, Shong, & Yeom, 2002). Research concerning the relationship between self-efficacy and health promotion behaviors using Fender's theoretical framework is limited. Most recent research has focused on self-efficacy and specific health promotion behaviors such as exercise, but there is also evidence that self-efficacy influences other aspects of health promotion behaviors. Gillis (1993) reviewed the research literature from 1983 to 1991 and concentrated on the determinants of a health-promoting lifestyle. Self-efficacy, social support, perceived benefits, self-concepts, perceived barriers, and health definitions were found to be the strongest predictors of health-promoting behaviors. Selfefficacy was found to be the strongest predictor of a health-promoting lifestyle for Hispanics, African Americans, and Caucasians in a study by Weitzel and Waller (1990). Adults with disabilities were more likely to engage in a healthpromoting lifestyle if perceived self-efficacy was present (Stuifbergen & Becker, 1994). Grembowski et al. (1993) found that older adults with high self-efficacy had a lower health risk in all behaviors, and better health. The results of Clark and Nothwehr's (1999) study showed that exercise self-efficacy scores were greater among persons with a current exercise habit, no pain or fear of shortness of breath with exercise, and good self-rated health. …

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