Departmental Bulletin Paper Facilitators and barriers of adopting healthy lifestyle in rural China: a qualitative analysis through social capital perspectives

Zhang, Yan  ,  Ma, Defu  ,  Cui, Renzhe  ,  Hilawe, Esayas Haregot  ,  Chiang, Chifa  ,  Hirakawa, Yoshihisa  ,  Hu, Yonghua  ,  Wang, Peiyu  ,  Iso, Hiroyasu  ,  Aoyama, Atsuko

78 ( 2 )  , pp.163 - 173 , 2016-05 , Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, School of Medicine
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are the major public health concerns in China. However, littlehas been known yet about the background social factors that influence lifestyles as possible NCD riskfactors. This qualitative study aimed to explore facilitators and barriers of adopting healthy lifestylesamong residents in a rural community of China. Three age-stratified focus group discussions (FGDs) wereconducted in Fangshan district of Beijing in 2013. A FGD guide was designed to elicit the participants’perception and experience regarding their lifestyles. The audio-records were transcribed, and data werequalitatively analyzed through thematic approach. Through social capital framework with bonding, bridging,and linking classifications, we identified the following facilitators and barriers to adopt healthy lifestyles. (1)Facilitators: mutual support from family/friends and motivation to participate in regular exercises (bonding);cooperative relationships with community health workers (bridging); and nationwide high level of healthylifestyle awareness (linking). (2) Barriers: negative influence from family/friends, insufficient support fromfamily/friends, peer pressure and tolerance towards unhealthy lifestyles (bonding); insufficient support fromhealth professionals (bridging); and inequity in allocation of public resources (linking). This study revealedthat bonding, bridging and linking social capital would work as facilitators and barriers to adopt healthylifestyles among rural residents in China.

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