Tobacco use and preferences for wellness programs among health aides and other employees of an Alaska Native Health Corporation in Western Alaska

Christi A. Patten, Carrie A. Bronars, Matthew Scott, Rahnia Boyer, Harry Lando, Matthew M. Clark, Kenneth Resnicow, Paul A. Decker, Tabetha A. Brockman, Agnes Roland, Marcelo Hanza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study assessed health behaviors and preferences for wellness programs among employees of a worksite serving Alaska Native-people. Village-based Community Health Aides/Practitioners (CHA/Ps) were compared with all other employees on health indicators and program preferences. Using a cross-sectional design, all 1290 employees at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) in Western Alaska were invited in 2015 to participate in a 30-item online survey. Items assessed health behaviors, perceived stress, resiliency, and preferences for wellness topics and program delivery formats. Respondents (n = 429) were 77% female and 57% Alaska Natives. CHA/Ps (n = 46) were more likely than all other employees (n = 383) to currently use tobacco (59% vs. 36%; p = 0.003). After adjusting for covariates, greater stress levels were associated (p = 0.013) with increased likelihood of tobacco use. Employees reported lower than recommended levels of physical activity; 74% had a Body Mass Index (BMI) indicating overweight or obese. Top preferences for wellness topics were for eating healthy (55%), physical activity (50%), weight loss (49%), reducing stress (49%), and better sleep (41%). CHA/Ps reported greater interest in tobacco cessation than did other employees (37% vs. 21%; p = 0.016). Preferred program delivery format among employees was in-person (51%). The findings are important because tailored wellness programs have not been previously evaluated among employees of worksites serving Alaska Native people. Promoting healthy lifestyles among CHAP/s and other YKHC employees could ultimately have downstream effects on the health of Alaska Native patients and communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Alaska Native
  • Employee
  • Health
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco
  • Wellness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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