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Salvador-Carulla L.,University of Sydney | Salvador-Carulla L.,Spanish Association for Research of Healthy Aging | Alonso F.,Spanish Association for Research of Healthy Aging | Gomez R.,Spanish Association for Research of Healthy Aging | And 4 more authors.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health | Year: 2013

Background: Health-related Habits (HrH) are a major priority in healthcare. However there is little agreement on whether exercise, diet, smoking or dental hygiene are better described as lifestyles, habits or behaviors, and on what is their hierarchical relationship. This research is aimed at representing the basic concepts which are assumed to constitute the conceptual framework enabling us to interpret and organize the field of HrH. Methods: A group of 29 experts with different backgrounds agreed on the definition and hierarchy of HrH following an iterative process which involved framing analysis and nominal group techniques. Results: Formal definitions of health-related behavior, habit, life-style and life-style profile were produced. In addition a series of basic descriptors were identified: health reserve, capital, risk and load. Six main categories of HrH were chosen based on relevance to longevity: diet/exercise, vitality/stress, sleep, cognition, substance use and other risk. Attributes of HrH are clinical meaningfulness, quantifiability, temporal stability, associated morbidity, and unitarity (non-redundancy). Two qualifiers (polarity and stages of change) have also been described. Conclusions: The concepts represented here lay the groundwork for the development of clinical and policy tools related to HrH and lifestyle. An adaptation of this system to define targets of health interventions and to develop the classification of person factors in ICF may be needed in the future. © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Alonso F.,Spanish Association for Research of Healthy Aging | Walsh C.O.,Harvard University | Salvador-Carulla L.,Spanish Association for Research of Healthy Aging
BMC Research Notes | Year: 2010

Background: Chronic diseases cause an ever-increasing percentage of morbidity and mortality, but many have modifiable risk factors. Many behaviors that predispose or protect an individual to chronic disease are interrelated, and therefore are best approached using an integrated model of health and the longevity paradigm, using years lived without disability as the endpoint. Findings: This study used a 4-phase mixed qualitative design to create a taxonomy and related online toolkit for the evaluation of health-related habits. Core members of a working group conducted a literature review and created a framing document that defined relevant constructs. This document was revised, first by a working group and then by a series of multidisciplinary expert groups. The working group and expert panels also designed a systematic evaluation of health behaviors and risks, which was computerized and evaluated for feasibility. A demonstration study of the toolkit was performed in 11 healthy volunteers. Discussion: In this protocol, we used forms of the community intelligence approach, including frame analysis, feasibility, and demonstration, to develop a clinical taxonomy and an online toolkit with standardized procedures for screening and evaluation of multiple domains of health, with a focus on longevity and the goal of integrating the toolkit into routine clinical practice. © 2010 Alonso et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

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