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Multifactorial beliefs about the role of genetics and behavior in common health conditions: prevalence and associations with participant characteristics and engagement in health behaviors.

Waters EA, Muff J, Hamilton JG - Genet. Med. (2014)

Bottom Line: The number of statistically significant associations was limited.Beliefs about the multifactorial etiology of cancer were associated with cancer screening behaviors.These findings and recommendations for future research provide preliminary guidance for developing and targeting genomics-related health messages and communications.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Many common health conditions arise due to a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle-related behaviors. People's understanding of the multifactorial nature of health conditions has implications for their receptivity to health messages regarding genomics and medicine, and may be related to their adoption of protective health behaviors. Although past work has investigated aspects of either genetic or behavioral causal beliefs, multifactorial beliefs have not been evaluated systematically.

Methods: Utilizing nationally representative cross-sectional data from the Health Information National Trends Survey, we examined the prevalence of multifactorial beliefs regarding the etiology of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, as well as associations between such beliefs and demographic, health history, and health behavior variables in the US population.

Results: Among 3,630 participants, the vast majority (64.2-78.6%) endorsed multifactorial beliefs. The number of statistically significant associations was limited. Trends suggest that endorsement of multifactorial beliefs may differ by demographic and health history characteristics. Beliefs about the multifactorial etiology of cancer were associated with cancer screening behaviors. Multifactorial beliefs about other common health conditions were associated with few health promotion behaviors.

Conclusion: These findings and recommendations for future research provide preliminary guidance for developing and targeting genomics-related health messages and communications.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Conceptual framework. This framework describes how multiple factors can influence causal beliefs. These beliefs in turn can affect health cognitions, emotions, and subsequent health behaviors. Concepts examined in the present study are shown in the white boxes. The shaded boxes include additional relevant factors that provide a context for these processes. We do not examine these additional factors in the current research, but they could serve as targets for future research.
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Figure 1: Conceptual framework. This framework describes how multiple factors can influence causal beliefs. These beliefs in turn can affect health cognitions, emotions, and subsequent health behaviors. Concepts examined in the present study are shown in the white boxes. The shaded boxes include additional relevant factors that provide a context for these processes. We do not examine these additional factors in the current research, but they could serve as targets for future research.

Mentions: This study is guided by a conceptual framework (Figure 1) that draws upon theoretical and empirical work from psychology, public health, and genomic medicine.1,4,5,8,9,23,24 It describes how multiple factors can influence individuals’ causal beliefs about a disease, which in turn can affect their thoughts, feelings, and health-related behaviors. The basic premise is that a multifactorial model of disease causation represents a more complex set of beliefs than a single-factor model comprised of only genetic or behavioral causes.2,14 This complex information may be difficult to understand for populations that already experience limitations in health knowledge. Therefore, we hypothesize that multifactorial causal beliefs will be more common among individuals who are non-Hispanic white,25,26 live in urban (versus rural) geographic areas,27 and have more education28 and higher numeracy (the ability to use numerical information to make effective health decisions).29


Multifactorial beliefs about the role of genetics and behavior in common health conditions: prevalence and associations with participant characteristics and engagement in health behaviors.

Waters EA, Muff J, Hamilton JG - Genet. Med. (2014)

Conceptual framework. This framework describes how multiple factors can influence causal beliefs. These beliefs in turn can affect health cognitions, emotions, and subsequent health behaviors. Concepts examined in the present study are shown in the white boxes. The shaded boxes include additional relevant factors that provide a context for these processes. We do not examine these additional factors in the current research, but they could serve as targets for future research.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4233013&req=5

Figure 1: Conceptual framework. This framework describes how multiple factors can influence causal beliefs. These beliefs in turn can affect health cognitions, emotions, and subsequent health behaviors. Concepts examined in the present study are shown in the white boxes. The shaded boxes include additional relevant factors that provide a context for these processes. We do not examine these additional factors in the current research, but they could serve as targets for future research.
Mentions: This study is guided by a conceptual framework (Figure 1) that draws upon theoretical and empirical work from psychology, public health, and genomic medicine.1,4,5,8,9,23,24 It describes how multiple factors can influence individuals’ causal beliefs about a disease, which in turn can affect their thoughts, feelings, and health-related behaviors. The basic premise is that a multifactorial model of disease causation represents a more complex set of beliefs than a single-factor model comprised of only genetic or behavioral causes.2,14 This complex information may be difficult to understand for populations that already experience limitations in health knowledge. Therefore, we hypothesize that multifactorial causal beliefs will be more common among individuals who are non-Hispanic white,25,26 live in urban (versus rural) geographic areas,27 and have more education28 and higher numeracy (the ability to use numerical information to make effective health decisions).29

Bottom Line: The number of statistically significant associations was limited.Beliefs about the multifactorial etiology of cancer were associated with cancer screening behaviors.These findings and recommendations for future research provide preliminary guidance for developing and targeting genomics-related health messages and communications.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Many common health conditions arise due to a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle-related behaviors. People's understanding of the multifactorial nature of health conditions has implications for their receptivity to health messages regarding genomics and medicine, and may be related to their adoption of protective health behaviors. Although past work has investigated aspects of either genetic or behavioral causal beliefs, multifactorial beliefs have not been evaluated systematically.

Methods: Utilizing nationally representative cross-sectional data from the Health Information National Trends Survey, we examined the prevalence of multifactorial beliefs regarding the etiology of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, as well as associations between such beliefs and demographic, health history, and health behavior variables in the US population.

Results: Among 3,630 participants, the vast majority (64.2-78.6%) endorsed multifactorial beliefs. The number of statistically significant associations was limited. Trends suggest that endorsement of multifactorial beliefs may differ by demographic and health history characteristics. Beliefs about the multifactorial etiology of cancer were associated with cancer screening behaviors. Multifactorial beliefs about other common health conditions were associated with few health promotion behaviors.

Conclusion: These findings and recommendations for future research provide preliminary guidance for developing and targeting genomics-related health messages and communications.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus