A Meta-Analysis of Predictors of Positive Health Practices


  • Adela Yarcheski,

  • Noreen E. Mahon,

  • Thomas J. Yarcheski,

  • Barbara L. Cannella

  • Adela Yarcheski, RN, PhD, FAAN, Upsilon, Professor, College of Nursing, Noreen E. Mahon, RN, PhD, FAAN, Kappa, Professor, College of Nursing, both at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ; Thomas J. Yarcheski, PhD, Healthcare Consultant, Naples, ME; Barbara L. Cannella, RN, MS, Alpha Tau, Clinical Instructor and Doctoral Candidate, College of Nursing, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, NJ. Correspondence to Dr. Yarcheski, 30 Coolidge Avenue, Carteret, NJ 07008. E-mail: yarcheski@nightingale.rutgers.edu

  • *Studies included in the meta-analysis. **Unpublished data from a study used in meta-analysis.


Purpose:To identify predictors of positive health practices from empirical studies in which the Personal Lifestyle Questionnaire was used.

Methods:Meta-analysis to determine the magnitude of the relationships between each of the predictors identified and positive health practices. Fourteen predictors of positive health practices were identified in 37 studies published since 1983; a meta-analysis was conducted on 14 predictors.

Results:Eight predictors (loneliness, social support, perceived health status, self-efficacy, future time perspective, self-esteem, hope, and depression) had moderate effect sizes, and six (stress, education, marital status, age, income, and sex) had small effect sizes.

Conclusions:Findings enable health care professionals and researchers designing intervention studies to use the strongest predictors identified in this meta-analysis to promote positive health practices.