PHIRN: Population Health Improvement Research Network

Figure 10a-b. Health Behaviours Studied in Academic/Grey Literature Ω

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The next two charts outline the distribution of health behaviours studied in the academic and grey literatures. Most of the articles addressed multiple health behaviours. Therefore, there was multiple coding across the sources. Figure 10a reveals that out of 173 selected academic articles, 45 articles studied health behaviour. Healthy eating is the most frequently (31.1%) studied health behaviour followed by physical activity (26.7%), substance abuse (24.4%), smoking (20%). Relatively fewer articles examined disease screening practices (15.6%), safe sex practices (6.7%), breastfeeding (4.4%), and helmet use (2.2%).



5Ω This symbol denotes multiple coding


We distinguished here health behaviour intervention studies as those where action was taken to influence or intervene on various basic resource issues such as housing, income, etc., as well as on health behaviours; health promotion activities includes studies that focused more broadly beyond behaviours to include promoting supportive relationship within community, screening for knowledge about a particular disease, and promoting health literacy. As observed in Figure 10b, 47 out of the 114 sources of grey literature studied health behaviour. A focus on health behaviour interventions was the most frequently studied topic (44.7%), followed by health promotion activities (38.3%), substance abuse (46.8%), and smoking (42.6%). Physical activity (34.0%) and healthy eating (29.8%) are two other frequently appearing health behaviours studied in the grey literature.

It is interesting that health behaviour interventions and health promotion practices – the two most frequent factors studied in grey literature (44.7% and 38.3% respectively) were less likely to be studied in academic literature (20% and 11.1% respectively). Perhaps this may be because the grey literature is dominated by municipal, provincial and federal government publications of their on-going public health efforts, or reports from independent health consultants of these efforts. Similarly, 'substance abuse' and 'smoking' behaviours are quite frequently studied in grey literature (46.8%, 42.6% respectively) compared to academic literature (24.4%, 20% respectively).



Last Updated ( Friday, 23 September 2011 14:42 )