Relationships Between Lifestyle, Health Behaviors, and Health Status Outcomes for Underserved Adults

Elise M. Alverson, Valparaiso University
Theresa A. Kessler, Valparaiso University


Purpose: To examine the relationships between lifestyle, health behaviors, and health status for underserved adults. Data sources: A convenience sample of 84 adults responded to a questionnaire on lifestyle, health behaviors, health indices, and health status. Health status was measured by the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-12). Conclusions: The majority of the sample was white, female, ranged in age from 19 to 64 years, and had an annual income range of $0$25,000. Lifestyle factors reported included smoking (44%), consuming alcohol (59%), using street drugs previously (43%), exercising regularly (45%), and having adequate sleep (M= 7.16 h). Sixty-five percent engaged in at least one screening behavior during the past 12 months and used at least one prescription medication. Data for health indices demonstrated subjects had at least one current symptom (89%), at least one current medical condition (72%), and a body mass index classified as overweight (48%). No significant relationships were found between lifestyle and health status. Findings indicated health indices rather than lifestyle were related to health status. Implications for practice: Findings provided selective support for the links between lifestyle, health behaviors, and health status. Nurses can use the results as a basis for future assessments and interventions with underserved adults.