Health-promoting self-care behavior emphasizing positive lifestyle practices may improve the health and quality of life of adults. One variable that may influence health-related decisions is the status of basic needs as described by Maslow.

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Health-promoting self-care behavior emphasizing positive lifestyle practices may improve the health and quality of life of adults. One variable that may influence health-related decisions is the status of basic needs as described by Maslow.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among basic need satisfaction, health-promoting self-care behavior, and selected demographic variables in a sample of community-dwelling adults. A convenience sample of 84 community-dwelling adults was recruited to complete the Basic Need Satisfaction Inventory, the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II, and demographic information. Results of the study indi- cated that self-actualization, physical, and love/belonging need satisfaction accounted for 64% of the variance in health-promoting self-care behavior. The findings of this study are consistent with Maslow’s theory of human motivation and suggest that persons who are more fulfilled and content with themselves and their lives, have physical need satisfaction, and have positive con- nections with others may be able to make better decisions regarding positive health-promoting self-care behaviors.

Health-promoting self-care is a way for people to take control of their health (Haug, Wykle, & Namazi, 1989) and is a strategy for attaining national health goals (Pender, 1996). To date, however, much of the research into self-care behavior has been conducted within an illness or problem-oriented paradigm and has been designed to predict medical outcomes, such as the use of health care services, physician visits, and medical care expenses. A variety of factors, including a new emphasis on managing chronic conditions rather than curing disease, aging of the population, and increases in expenditures of health care dollars, have shifted the focus of health care delivery away from acute care toward health promotion and disease prevention (McLeroy & Crump, 1994). Research has demonstrated that lifestyle choices may decrease

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Western Journal of Nursing Research, 2000, 22(7), 796-811

Gayle J. Acton, Ph.D., R.N., Assistant Professor, The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing;Porntip Malathum, M.Ed. (Nursing), Doctoral Student, The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.

© 2000 Sage Publications, Inc.

http://crossmark.crossref.org/dialog/?doi=10.1177%2F01939450022044764&domain=pdf&date_stamp=2016-07-01
the incidence and severity of chronic conditions (Dean, 1989; Paffenbarger & Hyde, 1980; Paffenbarger, Hyde, Wing, & Hsieh, 1986; Paffenbarger, Wing, Hyde, & Jung, 1983; Rowe & Kahn, 1998). Thus, health promotion empha- sizing positive lifestyle practices may improve health and quality of life and decrease health care costs.

Embedded in the concept of health promotion is self-responsibility, or accountability for actions (or nonactions) regarding health. That is, persons are responsible for their health and health is largely self-determined through self-care actions. For individuals to engage in health-promoting behavior, they must be motivated to take personal responsibility for their health.

Little research, however, has focused on health-promoting self-care actions to produce health-oriented outcomes and variables related to posi- tive self-care decisions. One variable that may influence health-related deci- sions is the status of basic needs as described by Maslow (1970). According to Maslow’s theory of human motivation, the actions one takes are largely motivated by the needs of the individual. Basic needs are arranged in a hier- archy as physical, safety/security, love/belonging, esteem/self-esteem, and self-actualization needs. The hierarchy implies that lower needs must be met before higher needs emerge. For example, if the human being is deprived of oxygen, then concerns about safety and belonging may not matter. Needs actually exist in a quasi-hierarchy, and when the most urgent needs are par- tially or fully satisfied the next level emerges, ending with the search for self-actualization. Unmet needs result in a state of tension or anxiety; as the deficit increases, so does the tension, which ultimately leads to a state of per- ceived deprivation. There is always an inherent drive to relieve the tension caused by unmet needs and achieve need satisfaction. When relief occurs, the tension is decreased and the person can focus on other aspects of his or her life, such as health promotion. Maslow’s theory of human motivation suggests that persons experiencing higher levels of need satisfaction will have lower levels of tension and will not be in a state of deprivation; thus, they might be motivated to make better decisions regarding self-care and health promotion. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to (a) investigate the relationships among basic need status, health-promoting self-care be- havior, and selected demographic variables and (b) determine the best pre- dictors (physical needs, safety/security needs, love/belonging needs, esteem/ self-esteem needs, or self-actualization needs) of health-promoting self-care behavior in a sample of community-dwelling adults.

November 2000, Vol. 22, No. 7 797


 

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