Strategies to improve public health may benefit from targeting specific lifestyles associated with poor health behaviors and outcomes. The aim of this study was to characterize and examine the relationship between health and lifestyle-related attitudes (HLAs) and self-rated health and life-satisfaction.
Secondary analyses were conducted on data from a 2012 community wellness survey in Kirklees, UK. Using a validated HLA tool, respondents (n = 9130) were categorized into five segments: health conscious realists (33%), balanced compensators (14%), live-for-todays (18%), hedonistic immortals (10%), and unconfident fatalists (25%). Multivariate regression was used to examine whether HLAs could explain self-rated health using the EQ-5D visual analog scale (EQ-VAS) and life-satisfaction. Health conscious realists served as the reference group.
Self-rated health differed by HLA, with adjusted mean EQ-VAS scores being significantly higher (better) among balanced compensators (1.15, 95% CI 0.27, 2.03) and lower scores among unconfident fatalists (− 9.02, 95% CI − 9.85, − 8.21) and live-for-todays (− 1.96, 95% CI − 2.80, − 1.14). Balanced compensators were less likely to report low life-satisfaction (OR 0.75, 95% CI 0.62, 0.90), while unconfident fatalists were most likely to have low life-satisfaction (OR 3.51, 95% CI 2.92, 4.23).
Segmentation by HLA explained differences in self-rated health and life-satisfaction, with unconfident fatalists being a distinct segment with significantly worse health perceptions and life-satisfaction. Health promotion efforts may benefit from considering the HLA segment that predominates a patient group, especially unconfident fatalists.