• health education;
  • health promotion;
  • health needs assessment;
  • middle-aged

The purpose of this study was to identify the health-promoting education needs of middle-aged people in a rural community of Taiwan. A randomized sample of 1100 potential respondents was mailed a survey questionnaire with a response rate of 29.7%. The questionnaire was a unique ‘needs analysis’ tool developed by the researchers. Data were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results indicated that many respondents were already experiencing at least one chronic disease with physical and mental health moderate in status overall, though varying between men and women. The five highest ranked education needs from an extensive list were: healthy diet, family communication, relating to adult children, fitness and exercise, and cancer prevention. The findings, supplemented by the results from other needs analysis methods that also applied, have provided important insights for the design of a relevant health-promoting education programme for middle-aged people in that community.