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Gender Differences in Self-perception of Health at a Wellness Center

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Objective: Understanding gender differences in self-perception of health (SPH) and self-efficacy can inform the design of tailored programs to improve health behaviors. We aimed to assess gender-specific differences in SPH and self-efficacy for maintaining wellness habits at a work-place wellness center. Methods: A workplace wellness center member survey was conducted in 2016. Information about SPH and self-efficacy to maintain wellness habits was assessed. Data were analyzed to assess gender differences in SPH and self-efficacy. Results: The survey was completed by 2784 members (mean age, 49.2 years; 68.2% women). SPH was similar between genders despite more men reporting health problems such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, and cigarette smoking. Women had higher self-efficacy about maintaining healthy diet, but the difference was not clinically meaningful. Women had lower self-efficacy in their ability to maintain physical activity. Conclusions: In this large cohort of worksite wellness center members, men and women had similar self-perception of health despite higher disease burden among men. Women had lower self-efficacy in their ability to maintain physical activity level but similar self-efficacy for maintaining healthy diet. These differences may inform the design of tailored wellness programs to meet the needs of both genders.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Richa Sood, Mayo Clinic, Division of General Internal Medicine, Rochester, MN;, Email: [email protected] 2: Sarah M. Jenkins, Mayo Clinic, Division of Biomedical Statistics and Informatics, Rochester, MN 3: Amit Sood, Mayo Clinic, Division of General Internal Medicine, Rochester, MN (Present address: Executive Director, Global Center for Resiliency and Well-Being, Rochester, MN) 4: Matthew M. Clark, Mayo Clinic, Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, Rochester, MN

Publication date: November 1, 2019

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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