Health beliefs and their influence on United Kingdom nurses’ health-related behaviours

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Abstract

Health beliefs and their influence on United Kingdom (UK) nurses’ health-related behavioursBackground: Because there is a demonstrated empirical link between nurses’ personal health habits and their tendency to raise health issues with clients, researchers suggest that nurses can improve their health promotion role if they adopt health-related behaviours. Few researchers, however, have identified the factors that influence nurses’ health-related behaviours. Aims: To describe nurses’ beliefs about the importance of health-related behaviours, and investigate the relationship between these beliefs and their health-related behaviours. Design: A cross-sectional survey from which nested-case control comparisons were made. Sample: One hundred and thirteen nurses attending tertiary level education courses in London and Essex. Measures: Health Behaviour Survey and a scale measuring nurses’ beliefs about the importance of health-related behaviours. Results: Nurses’ health beliefs significantly influenced the practice of 14 health-related behaviours. Conclusions: The findings from this study support the view that nurses’ practice of many behaviours linked to health and longevity are influenced significantly by their beliefs about the importance of these behaviours. Changing nurses’ beliefs about the importance of health-related behaviours through specific health promotion sessions are meaningful as they may improve nurses’ health promotion role.

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