A cross-sectional survey of health risk behaviour clusters among a sample of socially disadvantaged Australian welfare recipients

Jamie Bryant, Billie Bonevski, Chris L. Paul, Christophe L. Lecathelinais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To examine the prevalence and clustering of six health risk behaviours (smoking, alcohol, inadequate sun protection, physical inactivity, and inadequate fruit and vegetable consumption) among severely disadvantaged individuals. Methods: A cross-sectional touch screen computer survey was conducted with 383 clients attending a social and community welfare organisation in New South Wales. Participants were assessed on smoking status, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, sun protection and socio-demographic characteristics. Descriptive statistics, factor analysis and logistic regression were used to assess the prevalence, clustering and socio-demographic predictors of health risk behaviours. Results: Ninety-eight per cent of the participants reported inadequate vegetable consumption, 62.7% reported inadequate fruit consumption, 82.5% reported inadequate sun protection, 61.7% smoked tobacco, 51.4% consumed alcohol at risky levels and 36.5% were insufficiently active. Most participants (87%) reported three or more risk behaviours. Male participants, younger participants and those with lower education were more likely to smoke tobacco and consume alcohol. Conclusions: The prevalence of health risk behaviours among a sample of typically hard-to-reach, severely disadvantaged individuals is extremely high. Implications: Future intervention development should take into account the likelihood of health risk clustering among severely disadvantaged groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clustering
  • Health risk behaviours
  • Socioeconomically disadvantaged
  • Vulnerable populations

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