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Assessing Perceived Health and Associated Health-Promoting Behaviors: An Investigation of Methods Used to Assess Health Status

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Abstract

Health assessments have been integral in the development of health behavior and policy recommendations. As the nation's health status improves, information about positive health is needed to continue development of appropriate behavior and policy recommendations. In this study, perceived health, health behaviors, health care usage, and how participants defined health were assessed. Using reported health-promoting behaviors, respondents were grouped into high-, middle-, and low-health groups. Analyses found statistically significant differences (p<.05) for all health behaviors reported and for life satisfaction. Each group's understanding of health also differed significantly. Results document the discriminating value and importance of positive health-promoting behaviors beyond their traditional role in prevention. Recommendations for health professionals' use of positive health assessments are discussed.

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