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Journal ArticleDOI

Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors and Health Promotion Attitudes in Preregistered Nurses: A Questionnaire Study.

01 Feb 2017-Journal of Nursing Education (Healio)-Vol. 56, Iss: 2, pp 94-103

Abstract: Background: Nurses report inadequacies in health promotion practices and recognise their own lifestyle choices influence their willingness to give health promotion advice. The aim of this study was to investigate attitudes towards being role models for healthy eating, and examine predictors of health promotion attitudes in pre-registered nurses as health professionals of the future. Method: Questionnaire survey with 493 pre-registered nurses. Measures included health promotion attitudes, healthy lifestyle index (combining diet and physical activity habits), self-esteem and body satisfaction. Results: Pre-registered nurses (89.5%) felt that nurses should be role models for health; at the same time 37% had rather negative health promotion attitude. Those who disagreed were more likely to be dissatisfied with their body and lead less healthy lifestyles. Most pre-registered nurses (96%) felt that delivering health promotion would be a key element of their job and held positive health promotion attitudes. Healthy lifestyle was the most consistent significant predictor of health promotion attitude. Conclusion: Pre-registered nurses with unhealthy lifestyle, lower self-esteem (and body dissatisfaction among overweight/obese student nurses) held more negative health promotion attitude. Intervention is needed to support pre-registered nurses in making healthy lifestyle choices, improving self-perception and health promotion attitude.
Topics: Health promotion (67%), Overweight (51%)

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Citation for published item:
Blake, H. and Stanulewicz, N. and Griths, K. (2017) 'Healthy lifestyle behaviors predict health promotion
attitudes in pre-registered nurses: a questionnaire study.', Journal of nursing education., 56 (2). pp. 94-103.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20170123-06
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Blake, Holly and Stanulewicz, Natalia and Griffiths,
Katherine (2016) Healthy lifestyle behaviours predict
health promotion attitudes in pre-registered nurses.
Journal of Nursing Education . ISSN 1938-2421 (In
Press)
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1
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE BEHAVIOURS PREDICT HEALTH PROMOTION
1
ATTITUDES IN PRE-REGISTERED NURSES: A QUESTIONNAIRE STUDY
2
Holly Blake
1
, Natalia Stanulewicz
2
, Katherine Griffiths
3
3
4
1
School of Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, UK.
5
2
School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, UK.
6
3
Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Nottingham, UK.
7
8
Holly Blake PhD CPsychol
9
Associate Professor of Behavioural Science, School of Health Sciences, University
10
of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.
11
12
Natalia Stanulewicz MA (corresponding author)
13
Doctoral student, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Nottingham,
14
Nottinghamshire.
15
address: Natalia Stanulewicz
16
School of Psychology, East Drive, University Park Campus, University of
17
Nottingham, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom
18
e: lpxnkk@nottingham.ac.uk
19
20
Katherine Griffiths MNursSci
21
Staff Nurse, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust,
22
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.
23
24
25

2
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE BEHAVIOURS PREDICT HEALTH PROMOTION ATTITUDES
26
IN PRE-REGISTERED NURSES
27
Abstract
28
Background: Nurses report inadequacies in health promotion practices and recognise their
29
own lifestyle choices influence their willingness to give health promotion advice. The aim of
30
this study was to investigate attitudes towards being role models for healthy eating, and
31
examine predictors of health promotion attitudes in pre-registered nurses as health
32
professionals of the future.
33
Method: Questionnaire survey with 493 pre-registered nurses. Measures included health
34
promotion attitudes, healthy lifestyle index (combining diet and physical activity habits), self-
35
esteem and body satisfaction.
36
Results: Pre-registered nurses (89.5%) felt that nurses should be role models for health; at the
37
same time 37% had rather negative health promotion attitude. Those who disagreed were
38
more likely to be dissatisfied with their body and lead less healthy lifestyles. Most pre-
39
registered nurses (96%) felt that delivering health promotion would be a key element of their
40
job and held positive health promotion attitudes. Healthy lifestyle was the most consistent
41
significant predictor of health promotion attitude.
42
Conclusion: Pre-registered nurses with unhealthy lifestyle, lower self-esteem (and body
43
dissatisfaction among overweight/obese student nurses) held more negative health promotion
44
attitude. Intervention is needed to support pre-registered nurses in making healthy lifestyle
45
choices, improving self-perception and health promotion attitude.
46
47
Key words: Health promotion, healthy lifestyle, nurses, obesity, self-perception.
48

3
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE BEHAVIOURS PREDICT HEALTH PROMOTION ATTITUDES
49
IN PRE-REGISTERED NURSES
50
Excess weight and obesity are a major population health issue in the United Kingdom
51
(NOF, 2014) and worldwide (James, 2004), with devastating effects for individual health,
52
healthcare services and the economy. As the advocates for health, nurses play an important
53
role in health promotion and the reduction of population obesity (Prime Minister’s
54
Commission, 2010). As such, patients view nurses as role models for health (Blake, 2013).
55
Nurses generally agree with this view, and recognise that their lifestyle choices can influence
56
those of their patients (e.g., poor diet and smoking: Blake & Harrison, 2013). However,
57
nurses often do not lead healthy lifestyles themselves (McElligott, Siemers, Thomas, &
58
Kohn, 2009), which can negatively impact on care quality (Hebert, Caughy, & Shuval, 2012;
59
Lobelo, Duperly, & Frank, 2009) and their credibility (Blake & Harrison, 2013), as healthcare
60
professionals who lead healthy lifestyle are more likely to deliver health promotion to
61
patients than those who do not (Hebert et al., 2012, Lobelo et al., 2009). Nurses have reported
62
previously that being overweight or engaging in unhealthy behaviours would reduce their
63
willingness to promote health promotion to their patients (Blake & Patterson, 2015).
64
Even though nurses largely agree that it is important for them to make healthy lifestyle
65
choices, this view does not necessarily translate into a healthier nursing workforce. In the
66
UK, the Department of Health (DH, 2009) reported that 58% of nurses working for the
67
National Health Service (NHS) were overweight; with 25% being obese. This is close to the
68
amount of people with BMI > 25 in the general UK population – 61.7% (PHE, 2015), which
69
is concerning taking into account the health-related education and training that nurses
70
receive. Still, overweight and obesity remain prevalent amongst pre-registered (student) and
71
registered (qualified) nurses (e.g., DoH, 2009; Blake, Mo, Lee, & Batt, 2012). Dietary habits
72
are less than exemplar among nurses (especially among pre-registered nurses), as many of
73

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