, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 197-203

The health beliefs of health fair participants

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The motivations and health beliefs of adults who participate in community-based health promotion were studied through a survey of 303 adults attending five community health fairs. Subjects were predominately female (69.9%), over age 60 (66.8%), and had at least yearly contact with a family physician (85.3%). Obtaining laboratory testing services was the sole reason for attendance for 47% of participants, was thought to be of much greater importance than health educational materials also offered at the health fair, and identified as providing a sense of control over personal health care. Receiving their own normal test results was perceived as assuring a “healthy” future for 86% of participants and few used these results to support erroneous health beliefs. A theme of “positive health feedback”, identified through factor analysis of survey responses, may prove useful for family physicians to incorporate into more directed and useful health promotion efforts for enhanced patient participation and satisfaction.

John M. Heath, MD is Research Assistant Professor Department of Family Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse. Karen S. Lucic, BSc is a Research Assistant, University of Cincinnati. David Hollifield, BS was a Medical Student, University of Cincinnati. John R. Kues, PhD is Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Cincinnati.
This research was conducted during the senior author's faculty development fellowship training at the University of Cincinnati Department of Family Medicine and supported in part by US Dept. H.H.S. Grant #PE85025.