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Health Behaviors of Funeral Directors in the US: A Needs Assessment

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Objectives: Little is known about the health-risk behaviors of funeral directors. We undertook a study to examine their health behavior risks by assessing perceived health behaviors. Methods: The study was a cross-sectional, descriptive study of a sample of funeral directors in the US as of September 2018. We used online survey software to disseminate a multi-wave survey to funeral directors. Results: Overall, we received 132 completed surveys (16.5% response rate). Overall, funeral directors rated themselves as healthy, but 61% reported that their mental health was not good in the previous 30 days due to stress, depression, or problems with emotions. We found that 23% reported that their poor physical or mental health keep them from doing their daily activities such as self-care, work, or recreation in the last 30 days. Other behaviors such as screenings, weight management, stress management, and substance use were found to be concerns in this population. Conclusions: Public health efforts should focus on health promotion programming with an emphasis on improving the overall health and well-being of funeral directors in the US.
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Keywords: FUNERAL DIRECTORS; HEALTH BEHAVIORS; NEEDS ASSESSMENT; PUBLIC HEALTH PROGRAMMING

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Derek Cegelka, Assistant Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University, Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Nacogdoches, TX, United States;, Email: [email protected] 2: Victoria R. Wagner-Greene, Assistant Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University, Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Nacogdoches, TX, United States 3: Jennifer Newquist, Assistant Professor, Stephen F. Austin State University, Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Nacogdoches, TX, United States

Publication date: November 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • 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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