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Aust N Z J Public Health. 2013 Apr;37(2):118-23. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12028.

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

Author information

  • 1Priority Research Centre for Health Behaviour, Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia. Jamie.bryant@newcastle.edu.au

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.

© 2013 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2013 Public Health Association of Australia.

PMID:
23551469
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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