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J Aging Health. 2007 Feb;19(1):87-105.

Rural family caregivers and health behaviors: results from an epidemiologic survey.

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Stanford Prevention Research Center, Stanford University School of Medicine, Hoover Pavilion N229, Stanford, CA 94305-5705, USA.


This study examined health behaviors in a sample of rural family caregivers. In a community telephone survey of rural Missouri, Arkansas, and Tennessee, respondents were asked about their health, physical activity, nutrition, health providers, and family caregiving. Among 1,234 survey respondents, 12% self-identified as family caregivers. Caregivers reported lower fruit intake, more walking for exercise, and more provider advice about stress, fruits, and vegetables than noncaregivers. Groups did not differ in smoking, dietary fat, obesity, or self-rated health. Women caregivers reported more favorable patterns of physical activity, smoking, and provider interactions than men caregivers, and White caregivers had healthier reports of physical activity and body mass index than Black caregivers. These results provide new information about rural caregivers' health habits. Apart from nutritional intake, caregivers were not significantly different in most health behaviors. However, health providers seemed more attentive to caregivers regarding nutrition and stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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