The Perceived Health Competence Scale (PHCS), developed by Smith et al (1995) to measure expectancy beliefs regards of health-related habits, is a domain-specific scale of self efficacy. Our objective in this study was to examine the development, reliability, and suitability of design of the Japanese version of the PHCS, specifically by: (1) showing that PHCS correlates with measures of health related lifestyle habits and health status, (2) investigating how personal attributes or the socio-economic status of subjects affects PHCS, and (3) showing that the Perceived Health Competence Scale results may be explained by barriers to information access and general self-efficacy. The subjects of this study were 400 male and female residents living in Tokyo?gA?hward, aged between 20 and 60. The study was performed through a self-administered questionnaire to be completed at subjects' homes. The response rate was 50%, with responses received from 94 males, 105 females and one of unknown gender. The Japanese version of the PHCS has a Cronbach a coefficient of 0.83 and is considered reliable. In research subjects, a relationship was observed between high PHCS and good health habits such as eating breakfast, efforts to eat 30 different kinds of food every day, controlling sodium intake, abstaining from drinking and smoking, weight control, exercise, and awareness of one's own health indicators. No relation was found between PHCS results and environmental factors and health related habits such as the tendency to snack between meals or attend regular health checkups. In contrast, PHCS was influenced by age and educational background, as well as generalized self efficacy and barriers to health related information access. Accordingly, the research was largely successful in showing the reliability and validity of the Japanese version of PHCS.
To evaluate the physical fitness status required for active life, an appropriate index needs to be developed. The purpose of this study was to develop an equation for assessing the physical fitness status of older Japanese men. The subjects were 317 older Japanese men living independently, aged 70.3 ± 5.3 years, who completed eight physical fitness tests related to activity of daily living (ADL), upper limb strength, whole body locomotion, and change of posture. Applying principal component analysis for the eight physical fitness items, the first principal component was interpreted as total physical fitness. The equation developed for the estimation of physical fitness age (PFA) based on the first principal component coefficient was PFA=-5.78 PFS + 0.653 CA+24.4, where PFS=0.021x1-0.183x2+0.016x3+0.0164+0.040x5-0.041x6+0.0237+0.087x8-2 .415, CA=chronological age (yr), x1=grip strength (kg), x2=stand-up from lying position (s), x3=balancing on one leg with eyes closed (s), x4=sit and reach (cm), x5=arm curl (n/30s), x6=walking around two cones in a figure 8 (s), x7=functional reach (cm), and x8=chair stand (n/30s). Change of PFA were then assessed in 53 subjects (70.9 ± 5.5 yr) after 6 months and over. The change of PFA (mean=+0.6 yr) was not significantly different from the change of their chronological age (mean=+0.8 yr). In conclusion, this index may help us to assess the physical fitness status of older men. And PFA has both advantage and disadvantage points, so it is necessary to give subjects a good follow-up.
Changes of diet and life style can provide substantial effects on health status. The objective of this study was to investigate this kind of effect, and to obtain some suggestions for constructing healthy life style. We compared the results of detailed questionnaire which was designed to clarify the characteristicsof daily life and diet pattern, and measurement of aortic pulse wave velocity between the native Japanese residents continuously living in Japan and Japanese Americans living in Seattle, USA. The former was a population group who had sustained their traditional life style and the latter was a group who had mostly changed their life-styles. There were many differences between two population groups in their dietary habits. JapaneseAmericans were fond of foodstuffs rich in fat much more than native Japanese. And this characteristcs of Japanese American's dietary habit seemingly increase the prevalence of arteriosclerosis among them. It may suggest that Japanese Americans in Seattle have problems in their daily food intake.