FACTORS INFLUENCING HEALTH CHOICES IN VIEW OF EMERGING LIFESTYLE DISEASES AMONG THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH MEMBERS IN ELDORET WEST STATION, KENYA
Limo, Edward Kipng’eno
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This study identified the factors influencing health choices in view of emerging lifestyle diseases among Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church members in the Eldoret West station of Greater Rift Valley Conference of the SDA Church, Kenya. The objectives of the study were to determine the health choices among the SDA Church members, to evaluate their knowledge of lifestyle diseases, cultural beliefs on health, and attitudes towards the Adventist health message, and to find the correlations among these variables. Milio’s framework for prevention-changing health-damaging to health-generating life patterns was adopted for the study. It employed descriptive, correlational and comparative research designs. The data from 237 randomly sampled church members was analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, t-test for independent samples, and one-way analysis of variance. The study findings showed that SDA church members have good health choices (mean of 3.30) and moderately positive attitude towards the Adventist health message (mean of 2.85). Seventy percent (70%) of the research participants have knowledge of the risk factors and 81% are knowledgeable of the preventive measures of lifestyle diseases. Church members who have positive attitude towards the Adventist health message tend to have positive health choices. Moreover, church members with lower level of education, with higher income, and are members of the church for at least 20 years have more positive health choices. In comparisons, there were no significant differences in health choices of respondents grouped according to age and location of residence. It is recommended that the church continues its health education to church members with emphasis on risk factors and preventive measures of lifestyle diseases and promotion of Adventist health message for the purpose of encouraging them to adopt positive health choices.