Predicting Adherence to Health Behaviors: Developing a Screening Questionnaire to Facilitate Engagement in Diet and Physical Exercise



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High rates of individuals are diagnosed with one or more chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. The prevalence of chronic illness has led to increased healthcare costs and spending, increased co-morbidities of mental and medical health problems, and increased risk of mortality. Moreover, individuals may also lack engagement in health-promoting behaviors (i.e., physical activity, weight management) and adherence to behavioral recommendations. Due to limited research on predictors of adherence, as well as a lack of objective measures to assess adherence to behavioral recommendations, the use of a brief screening questionnaire may be beneficial to healthcare providers as they seek to provide treatment and optimize patient adherence. Therefore, the aim of this study is to predict adherence to health behaviors through the use of a brief screening questionnaire, as well as to identify potential facilitators and barriers to adherence. Participants were recruited from the University of Houston–Clear Lake and asked to complete the screener embedded within the Psychology Student Research Pool prescreen. Upon indicating that they have received at least one recommendation to modify health-related behaviors from a healthcare provider, participants were invited to complete the second and third phases of the study. Analyses consisted of using hierarchical regressions and a principal component analysis to identify constructs that either facilitate or act as a barrier to adherence. Findings suggest a relationship between adherence, self-efficacy (e.g., general, health), and constructs supported by the Health Belief Model and Theory of Planned Behavior (e.g., perceived behavioral control).



Treatment adherence, Health behaviors, Diet, Physical exercise