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.
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