'It's Important to Make Changes.' Insights about Motivators and Enablers of Healthy Lifestyle Modification from Young Aboriginal Men in Western Australia

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Abstract

Lifestyle modification can improve the health of people with or at risk of non-communicable diseases; however, initiating and maintaining positive health behaviours including healthy eating and physical activity is challenging. Young remote Aboriginal people who had successfully made significant healthy lifestyle changes were sought out to explore how they achieved this success. Four Aboriginal men aged 20⁻35 years were identified and consented to participate. Their perceptions of motivation for change, strategies, and facilitators and barriers were explored through in-depth interviews. Themes developed from the interviews included self-efficacy, self-reliance, and increased knowledge and altered health beliefs underpinning change. Participants with diabetes were highly motivated to avoid diabetes complications and had a strong belief that their actions could achieve this. In a setting with high levels of disadvantage, participants had relatively favourable socioeconomic circumstances with solid social supports. These findings highlight that lifestyle modification programs that foster internal motivation, enhance key health knowledge, and modify health beliefs and risk perception are needed. Increasing diabetes awareness among at-risk young people is important, emphasising the largely preventable and potentially reversible nature of the condition. Broad health improvements and individual changes will be facilitated by equitable socioeconomic circumstances and environments that support health.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2019

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Western Australia
Health
Life Style
Motivation
Interviews
Health Behavior
Self Efficacy
Diabetes Complications
Social Support
Healthy Lifestyle
Exercise

Cite this

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title = "'It's Important to Make Changes.' Insights about Motivators and Enablers of Healthy Lifestyle Modification from Young Aboriginal Men in Western Australia",
abstract = "Lifestyle modification can improve the health of people with or at risk of non-communicable diseases; however, initiating and maintaining positive health behaviours including healthy eating and physical activity is challenging. Young remote Aboriginal people who had successfully made significant healthy lifestyle changes were sought out to explore how they achieved this success. Four Aboriginal men aged 20⁻35 years were identified and consented to participate. Their perceptions of motivation for change, strategies, and facilitators and barriers were explored through in-depth interviews. Themes developed from the interviews included self-efficacy, self-reliance, and increased knowledge and altered health beliefs underpinning change. Participants with diabetes were highly motivated to avoid diabetes complications and had a strong belief that their actions could achieve this. In a setting with high levels of disadvantage, participants had relatively favourable socioeconomic circumstances with solid social supports. These findings highlight that lifestyle modification programs that foster internal motivation, enhance key health knowledge, and modify health beliefs and risk perception are needed. Increasing diabetes awareness among at-risk young people is important, emphasising the largely preventable and potentially reversible nature of the condition. Broad health improvements and individual changes will be facilitated by equitable socioeconomic circumstances and environments that support health.",
keywords = "change, health behaviour, health education, healthy lifestyle, indigenous, motivation, prevention, qualitative research, social determinants of health, type 2 diabetes",
author = "Seear, {Kimberley H.} and Lelievre, {Matthew P.} and Atkinson, {David N.} and Marley, {Julia V.}",
year = "2019",
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