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Understanding and Improving Modifiable Cardiovascular Risks within the Air Force

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Final rept. 1 Sep 2010-30 Jun 2013

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Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe factors that influence the lifestyle health behaviors among active duty members in the U.S. Air Force and develop a lifestyle behavioral intervention. Design A qualitative descriptive design was used. Methods Participants volunteered to complete a one-hour interview. After the interviews were analyzed, the findings were used to identify important elements of a lifestyle modification intervention. These elements were reviewed by focus group participants for further refinement to the intervention. Sample A total of 24 active duty members were enrolled into the study. Participants were purposefully sampled to achieve heterogeneity and variation in the presence or absence of a chronic disease hypertension, raceethnicity, officer or enlisted status, and age. Analysis Each interview was coded by two members of the research team and consensus was achieved. Conventional content analysis was used to arrange the data into data-driven themes. These themes were then compared to the elements of the Health Promotion Model HPM. Findings The definition of health included exercise, proper eating, sleep, and a spiritual connection, as well as the absence of smoking, stress, alcohol, and caffeine the fitness test was viewed as a career requirement, but not a measure of health. Three major factors contributed to health behaviors, including what it takes to be healthy, knowing oneself, and existing Air Force policies. The HPM did not fully address all of the factors that were found to influence health behaviors. An intervention to incorporate the basic tenets of healthy living with a personal application and incorporating Air Force-specific terminology was developed based on these findings. Implications for Military Nursing Military nurses are uniquely qualified to ensure active duty members integrate their own personal history with a foundational knowledge of health behaviors and military requirements.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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