Hope and the use of behavioural strategies related to diet and physical activity

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Abstract

Background

The use of specific behavioural strategies such as portion control or meal planning is important for weight management, although studies of determinants of strategy use are limited. The present study explored the concept of hope and its association with the use of behavioural strategies.

Methods

Data were obtained from a larger cross-sectional survey conducted in 2009 among 178 patients of a city-county sponsored primary care clinic in the Midwest region of the USA. Hope was measured with subscales representing ‘agency’ (determination in meeting goals) and ‘pathways’ (perception of ways to meet goals) and a total score. Diet and physical activity-related strategies were captured with five and two scales, respectively.

Results

Analyses showed a significant (P < 0.05) association between both the total hope score and the agency subscale and all behavioural strategy measures. The pathways subscale was significantly associated with physical activity-related strategies, and a subset of diet-related strategies.

Conclusions

The hope measures should be explored further in the context of a weight loss intervention to determine their predictive association with the use of specific behavioural strategies.

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