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Modifiable Risk Factors and Readiness to Change among Homeless Adults

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Objectives: In this study, we examined the prevalence of modifiable health risk factors (eg, smoking, unsafe sexual practices, at-risk drinking, low fruit/vegetable consumption, inadequate physical activity, and overweight/obesity) and readiness to change among homeless adults in Oklahoma City, OK. A secondary aim was to examine the relationship between self-rated health and readiness to change. Methods: We examined readiness to change using "ladder of change" variables. We used linear regression models to predict self-rated health and readiness to change. Results: Participants (N = 581) were largely smokers (79%), consumed less than 5 fruit and vegetable servings per day (64%) and were overweight or obese (64%). Many participants were ready to change at-risk drinking (56%), fruit/vegetable consumption (74%), and overweight/obesity (74%). Regression analyses indicated that low fruit/vegetable consumption and physical activity were associated with lower self-rated health. Lower self-rated health was not significantly related to readiness to change any health risk factors. Conclusions: Among homeless adults, the prevalence of modifiable health risk factors was high, as was readiness to change. Research is needed to reduce individual risk factors in this understudied population.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Oklahoma, Department of Health and Exercise Science. Norman, OK;, Email: [email protected] 2: University of Houston, Department of Psychological, Health, and Learning Sciences, Houston, TX 3: Hernandez, University of Houston, Department of Health and Human Performance, Houston, TX 4: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing, Houston, TX 5: Drexel University School of Public Health, Philadelphia, PA 6: University of Oklahoma, Department of Health and Exercise Science, Norman, OK 7: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK

Publication date: March 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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