Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 2014; 3(1):(98-318)


Health-seeking practices and psycho-social factors related to health behaviors in a Turkish sample

Ozlem Simsekoglu, Nuran Aydemir

Abstract
Background: The aim of the present study was to examine health-seeking behaviors and psycho-social factors related to health behaviors (healthy diet, sleep and physical exercise) in a Turkish sample. Method: Data were collected from 270 Turkish adults aged between 17 and 75 by using convenient sampling, between 2010 and 2012. A questionnaire which include items related to demographic information, health-related practices, health-seeking behaviors, The Health Behavior Questionnaire and The Medical Outcomes study short form- 36 (SF-36) was used in data collection. Results: For physical and sexual health problems, most of the participants stated that they immediately seek out a physician. However, for mental health problems, a large proportion reported no action or applied some alternative ways of dealing, such as consulting friends. In order to explain the variance in health behaviors hierarchical regression analysis was performed and the results showed that age, mental health and seat belt use were positively, while smoking frequency was negatively related to engaging in health behaviors. Conclusions: The participants were more reluctant to seek health care for mental health problems, which may indicate the stigma related with mental health issues. Also, mental health was found to be more related with health behaviors than physical health. Present findings suggest that future public health campaigns promoting health behaviors in Turkey may especially target younger people with an unhealthy life style, including smoking and risky behavior in traffic.
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