PUBLICATIONS - Prof. dr. Koen Ponnet published four new A1 articles

(21-09-2018) Prof. dr. Koen Ponnet published 4 A1 articles.

Hypertension remains one of the most important preventable risk factors for diseases and death. Identifying clustered patterns of modifiable lifestyle risk factors for hypertension and demographics factors related to these clustered patterns allows for targeting health prevention interventions. Therefore, this study aims to identify latent classes of hypertensive patients’ lifestyle risk factors based on the clustering of four modifiable lifestyle risk factors: eating, physical activity patterns, smoking habits, and blood pressure control. Three classes of lifestyle patterns were identified. About 14.4% of hypertensive patients were categorized in a low-risk class (I), 54.6% in an intermediate-risk class (II), and 31% in a high-risk class (III) of lifestyle. A one-year increase in age significantly increases the risk of membership in classes II and III.  Similarly, being widowed or divorced increases the risk of membership in classes II and III. Also, having a higher education level decreases the risk of membership in classes II and III.


Drug misuse is a major problem that has an extreme negative effect on people’s health. Methamphetamine (MA) is frequently used by young adults, despite its harmful consequences. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) has been known to be very effective in explaining both the achievement and cessation of several health-related  behaviors. Therefore, in this study, the TTM was used toward the domain of immoderate MA use among young adults. This study aimed to test the validity and reliability of  a decisional balance scale for MA use in young adults. The findings showed that the Methamphetamine Decisional Balance Scale is a valid and reliable scale that increases our ability to study motivational factors related to MA use among young adult. Consequently, the instrument could be applied in both practice and future studies.

Preventive behaviors regarding cervical cancer are essential for women’s health. Even though many studies have addressed women’s knowledge and attitudes toward cervical cancer, little information is available about their experiences of cervical cancer-preventive behaviors. Thus, the aim of this study is to explore the perceptions and experiences of Iranian women regarding cervical cancer-preventive behaviors

The purpose of this model-based study was to identify behavioral and environmental prevention factors for brucellosis and to determine the causal linkage among these factors in a rural area with high prevalence of the disease. A multi-stage random sampling method was used to select villages in Ahar County, located in East Azerbaijan Province, Iran. Participants (n = 400) were recruited from these villages. Data was collected in accordance with the PRECEDE model established in March 2016. This model consists of four phases intended to assess each participant’s health and quality of life. Standardized, structured questionnaires exploring different aspects of brucellosis prevention (predisposing, reinforcing, enabling, environmental, and behavioral factors) were used. Path analysis was applied to assess the pathway structure of the PRECEDE model. Overall, the model fitted the data well (χ2/df = 1.10;RMSEA = .016 (CI 95%: 0.00–0.07), SRMR = .02, CFI = .99). Significant positive associations were found among predisposing, reinforcing, and enabling factors on the one hand, and behavior, on the other hand. The predisposing factors showed significant positive associations with general health, and the reinforcing factors and general health showed significant positive associations with health-related quality of life (HRQOL). The results of this study support the use of the PRECEDE model for brucellosis prevention, and suggest that a high level of general health, in combination with reinforcing factors can increase HRQOL in an area with a high prevalence of brucellosis.


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