Patterns of Health Promoting Lifestyle Practices of Arab Immigrants from Levant

Thursday, 15 July 2010: 2:25 PM

Salah-Addin H. Aqtash, PhD, RN
Academic and Training Affairs, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify patterns of health promoting lifestyle practices among Arab immigrants from Levant

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to compare patterns of health promoting lifestyle practices among Arab immigrants against other ethnic groups

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe health-promoting lifestyle behaviors among Arab immigrants from the region of Levant.

Methods: Data was collected from five local community based organizations in Southern California. A purposeful sample of male and female Arab adults from the region of Levant were recruited. A total of 218 men and women were surveyed, the majority of which completed the survey in Arabic. The final number of surveys accepted and utilized in the analysis was 205. The revised Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile (HPLP-II) was utilized to collect data about six health promoting lifestyle dimensions including physical activity, stress management, nutrition, health responsibility, spiritual growth, and interpersonal relations. A research team of 3 female and 3 male research assistants were assigned to survey their respective genders.

Results: Content analysis revealed that the mean for this population health-promoting lifestyle behavior was 2.73 on 4 points likert scale. Of the HPLP-II dimensions, physical activity was the least frequent practice with a mean (M=2.10) followed by stress management (M=2.5) and health responsibility (M= 2.70); while spiritual growth was the most frequent practice with a mean (M=3.16) followed by interpersonal relations (M=3.01).

Conclusion: Deficiencies related to Arab immigrants physical activity, stress management, and health responsibility indicated the need to establish community based culturally specific health promotion programs. To be effective, health promotion programs should take into consideration the personal strengths of spiritual growth and interpersonal relations.