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Public Health Rep. 1983 Sep-Oct;98(5):443-8.

Statewide survey of risk factor prevalence: the Ohio experience.


In 1982, a statewide survey was conducted to determine the prevalence of health risk factors among Ohio's population. The survey was mandated by a health education-risk reduction grant to the Ohio Department of Health. The background, development, and validation of the survey instrument are described. The four goals of "Health Ohio"--the collection of descriptive statistics on selected risk factors for adult Ohioans, the compilation of baseline data, the development of a standard methodology for a prevalence survey, and the reporting of these findings for potential users of the data--were achieved. The population sample consisted of 607 Ohioans aged 18 and older who were polled by telephone. Subjects were selected through a modified random digit dialing technique. As a result of this technique and the designation of a specific household respondent, demographic characteristics of the sample matched those of the State's population in the 1980 census. Among the implications of the survey findings were the needs to (a) remove economic barriers that apparently impede the installation of residential smoke detectors, (b) initiate health education at an earlier age to counter cigarette smoking trends, and (c) encourage adult self-determination in reducing health risk. The February 1982 "Health Ohio" data describing the need for intervention to reduce health risk factors have become the basis for health education-risk reduction efforts of the Ohio Department of Health. In addition, "Health Ohio" has spawned two local prevalence surveys in the State; these resulted in more precise local data on the prevalence of health risk factors. Other multiplier effects of health education-risk reduction projects should be documented for future reference.

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