The Association Between Health Information Seeking and Behavior Change Related to Physical Activity among Qatari Adolescents
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Objectives: This study aimed at exploring health information seeking behavior among Qatari adolescents and assessing the influence of information obtained from different sources on PA behavior change. In addition, the study aimed to identify possible correlates of PA behavior change among Qatari teens. Methods: This is a study involving the secondary analysis of data from a nationally representative cross-sectional survey conducted in 2017 among 1050 Qatari students aged 13-19 years. Self-reported information on demographics, psychosocial factors, PA, and sources used to obtain health information were collected. Main outcome was the attempt to change PA behavior. Logistic regression analysis accounting for survey design information was carried out to examine the association between the outcome and information sources used to attempt PA change, and to find independent predictors for this attempt. The estimated average marginal effects (AME), also known as risk differences, were derived from the results of logistic regression model, to have a sense of the absolute effect size reflecting the difference in the probability of the outcome associated with a change in the explanatory variable, adjusting for all the other covariates. Results: Teenagers in Qatar, specially girls, were not active enough. Nearly 68% of the respondents tried to change PA behavior (65% male versus 72% female), and 46% were physically active (55% males versus 38% females). About 89% of adolescents rated PA as an important topic for them personally. Based on information from interpersonal, traditional, online, and social media sources about 65%, 55%, 51%, and 54% of adolescents respectively attempted to change their PA behavior. Results from multivariable logistic regression showed that teens who used information from interpersonal and online sources to try to change their behavior had 9 times (OR=9.35, 95% CI: 4.15-21.08, P<0.001) and nearly 3 times (OR=2.53, 95% CI: 1.50-4.27, P=0.001) higher odds of change in PA, respectively. The odds of attempt to change PA were 2 times higher among older adolescents (16-19 years) (OR=2.17, 95% CI: 1.37-3.44, P= 0.002) and among teens who considered PA as important to them (OR=2.34, 95% CI: 1.13-4.84, P=0.023(. The estimated AMEs of using information from interpersonal sources and online sources on the probability of attempting PA change were about 46-percentage point and 16-percentage point increase respectively. For older adolescents and those considering PA important, the AMEs on the attempt to change PA were 11 and 14-percentage points respectively. All were sizable and significant differences (P<0.05). Conclusions: Physical activity level is still suboptimal among Qatari adolescents with obvious persistent gender gap. The results showed that interpersonal and online sources are important in fostering behavior change among Qatari adolescents, in addition to the influence of age and personal value of PA on initiating such changes. Policymakers can benefit from this research in designing appropriate pa interventions that adapt multiple delivery approach. It is recommended that future pa-related behavior change interventions in Qatar are age- and gender- sensitive and stress the importance and relevance of pa to teen's health.
- Theme 2: Population, Health & Wellness [120 items ]