Intrinsic factors influencing health promotion in elderly African-American women




Taylor, Rachel

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The aim of this predictive correlational study was to examine the value of health self-determinism, health promotion, and selected demographic variables as predictors of perceived health status in elderly African-American women (N = 100). A second aim was to qualitatively explore what being healthy meant to these women and what they considered important about their health. A convenience sample of 100 African-American women (65 to 89 years of age) completed the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP), the Health Self-Determinism Index (HSDI), and the Current Health Scale (CHS). The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlational analysis, and multiple regression. Findings revealed statistically significant linear relationships between health promotion and health self-determinism (r =.272; p = 0.01), between health self-determinism and perceived health status (r =.268; p =.01), and between health promotion and perceived health status (r =.234; p =.02). Regression analysis showed health self-determinism to be a significant predictor of perceived health status (t = 2.55; p =.01). Stepwise regression showed a statistically significant predictive relationship among income, self-actualization, and interpersonal support with perceived health status (F = 6.263; p =.0021). Health conceptualization was examined with the question: "What is it for you to be healthy?" Five major themes emerged from the responses and were analyzed for congruence with the four dimensions of health conceptualization of Smith (1981). The major themes were mental and physical well-being, absence of pain or disability, personal responsibility for health and illness, spiritual blessing, and happiness with the current state of health. Health value was examined with the question: "Is your health important to you? Why?" Three categories which emerged were desire for independence, desire for long life and better quality of life, and joy in living. The implications of the study support the premise that the relationship between health promotion, health self-determinism, and perceived health status is multidimensional and that it warrants further exploration of the intrinsic factors which impact on health promotion in an elderly population.



Health and environmental sciences, Social sciences