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Soc Sci Med. 2006 Oct;63(7):1846-56. Epub 2006 Jul 7.

A prospective study of stage of change for general health promotion action and health-related lifestyle practices among Chinese adults.

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Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong. <>


In a previous study we proposed the notion of general health promotion action (GHPA) defined as "a general intention and actual practices to take action aimed to promote health." GHPA is a subjective measure of health-promoting lifestyle which may reflect practices aimed to promote health and practices which are taken for non-health reasons but which nonetheless have health benefits. The present prospective study aimed to examine whether baseline stage of change for GHPA predicted health-related lifestyle practices at 24-month follow-up in a representative community-based cohort of 3129 Hong Kong Chinese adults. Overall, 37% of the subjects remained in the same stage, 43% had progressed to later stages, and 20% had regressed to earlier stages of change at follow-up. Baseline maintainers were the most likely to report desirable lifestyle practices at follow-up. They were significantly more likely to have exercised in the past month, consumed at least 2 portions of fruit a day, consumed at least 3 portions of vegetable a day, consumed at least 5 portions of fruit or vegetable a day, have had no episodes of binge drinking in the past month, and have had a dental examination at least once a year. The association remained significant after adjusting for age, gender, education, income and baseline level of respective lifestyle practices, with significantly increasing trends from precontemplation to maintenance stage. We conclude that the predictive validity of stage of change for GHPA was supported from these longitudinal findings, and further research on how GHPA can guide health promotion strategies is warranted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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