METHOD: Purposive sampling of chiropractic clinics and convenience sampling of patients attending these primary contact practitioners were undertaken. Patients were asked to complete a questionnaire. Interested patients were given a health information brochure on topics of their choice. Patients who had requested health information brochures were phoned at 3 weeks, 3 months, and 1 year after completing the initial questionnaire and asked if they had implemented any of the suggestions for health promotion or risk prevention. A minimum of 4 attempts were made to contact each participant by telephone. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
RESULTS: Twenty-one chiropractic clinics and 781 patients participated. Although every third patient requested one or more health information brochures, fewer than 1 in 4 of those receiving brochures implemented some health-promoting behavior. Although some patients persisted with their newly initiated health-promoting behaviors, compliance diminished over time. Exercise and dietary change were the behaviors most likely to be modified.
CONCLUSION: Implementation of even one healthy behavior can have a ubiquitous health benefit. Despite dwindling compliance, it is therefore suggested that suitably formulated health information brochures that inform and encourage adoption of healthy behaviors by motivated patients deserve consideration by all health professionals working at the consumer-health care system interface.
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