Health Promotion Journal of Australia Health Promotion Journal of Australia Society
Journal of the Australian Health Promotion Association

Health Promotion Journal of Australia

Health Promotion Journal of Australia

Health Promotion Journal of Australia facilitates communication between researchers, practitioners and policy makers involved in health promotion activities. Read more about the journalMore

Editor-in-Chief: Jonine Jancey

Current Issue

Health Promotion Journal of Australia

Volume 28 Number 1 2017

HE16027Process evaluation of the Albany Physical Activity and Nutrition (APAN) program, a home-based intervention for metabolic syndrome and associated chronic disease risk in rural Australian adults

Krysten Blackford, Andy Lee, Anthony P. James, Tracy Waddell, Andrew P. Hills, Annie S. Anderson, Peter Howat and Jonine Jancey
pp. 8-14

This paper reports on the process evaluation of the Albany Physical Activity and Nutrition program, which aimed to improve the diet and physical activity of rural adults at risk of chronic disease. Health promotion practitioners planning and implementing similar interventions may learn from these findings, particularly for recruitment and retention of participants.


Eighty-two percent of smartphone owners search for health information on their phones but is such information easy to read? This study explored how health information was displayed on mobile websites and found that only 15.93% were designed to optimise readability. Building mobile-responsive and easy-to-read websites should be a priority to capitalise on the potential of mobile phones in enhancing health literacy.

HE16003Consumer evaluation of ‘Veggycation®’, a website promoting the health benefits of vegetables

Reetica Rekhy, Aila Khan, Floris van Ogtrop and Robyn McConchie
pp. 21-29

This study evaluated the Veggycation® website and its appeal to Australian consumers. The website has a high level of acceptance overall; however, customisation of the site is recommended for low vegetable consumption groups. The study adds to the body of knowledge in e-health and informatics, promoting health education and literacy.


This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Sharing Stories youth theatre program, which uses interactive theatre and drama-based strategies to engage and educate multicultural youth on sexual health. The study found that knowledge, confidence and attitudes of participants improved after participation in the program. These results suggest that incorporating arts-based strategies into sexual health promotion programs for multicultural youth is valuable.


Recess breaks can provide the greatest opportunities for children’s physical activity participation at school. This study explored the relationship between Australian primary school children’s enjoyment of recess physical activities and health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Provision of opportunities and facilities for more vigorous-intensity school recess physical activities were found to be a key strategy to enhance children’s HRQOL.

HE16047Partnerships in obesity prevention: maximising co-benefits

Michelle Jones and Fiona Verity
pp. 44-51

Valuing the voices of community and stakeholders is vital to the evaluation of childhood community-based obesity prevention programs, especially to understand what works and why. This paper reports qualitative research about community partnerships in a program called OPAL (Obesity Prevention and Lifestyle) in South Australia. A key finding is that partnerships based on relationships and co-benefits were more likely to be viewed as making a difference.


Churches have experience in addressing social disadvantage and are prepared to commit resources to meet the needs of people outside their congregations. The aim of this study was to explore the barriers and challenges that affect church involvement in promoting health and well being. Identified factors include perceived lack of relevance, community mistrust, conversion agendas and values that conflict with health promotion.

HE15118Depression and diabetes in the remote Torres Strait Islands

Sean Taylor, Robyn McDermott, Fintan Thompson and Kim Usher
pp. 59-66

Torres Strait Islanders in the remote islands of Far North Queensland experience high rates of Type 2 Diabetes in Australia. This study aimed to assess the extent of self-reported depression using the PHQ-9 and clinical features, our study demonstrated low rates of depression compared to national samples. Increasing physical activity could improve mental and general well being in this population.

HE15095Online canteens: awareness, use, barriers to use, and the acceptability of potential online strategies to improve public health nutrition in primary schools

Rebecca Wyse, Sze Lin Yoong, Pennie Dodds, Libby Campbell, Tessa Delaney, Nicole Nathan, Lisa Janssen, Kathryn Reilly, Rachel Sutherland, John Wiggers and Luke Wolfenden
pp. 67-71

This telephone survey of 123 primary school principals suggests that online canteens have the potential to reach a large proportion of school communities across geographical and socioeconomic divides, and that the nutrition interventions which they have the capacity to deliver are considered acceptable.

HE15136Smoking status and associated factors among male Chinese restaurant workers in metropolitan Sydney

Wei Jiang, Brenda Leung, Nancy Tam, Huilan Xu, Suzanne Gleeson and Li Ming Wen
pp. 72-76

This is the first study focusing on smoking behaviour among Chinese restaurant workers in Australia. The findings indicate that Chinese restaurant workers in metropolitan Sydney have a high smoking rate of 45%, with 50% of current smokers wanting to quit. These findings provide a sound basis to support the development of tailored health promotion strategies for this population.

HE15123Take Charge of Pain: evaluating a community-targeted self-management education program for people with musculoskeletal pain

Elizabeth Hoon, Karen Smith, Julie Black, Simon Burnet, Catherine Hill and Tiffany K. Gill
pp. 77-80

Self-management is ubiquitous in a modern health system, in which the management of chronic conditions is a key challenge. Using a pre-post evaluation design, this study aimed to determine the effectiveness of a redesigned and shortened community-targeted program focusing on musculoskeletal pain.

Online Early

The peer-reviewed and edited version of record published online before inclusion in an issue

Published online 24 April 2017

HE16095Achieving equity in Crunch&Sip®: a pilot intervention of supplementary free fruit and vegetables in NSW classrooms

Debra Hector, Shelley Edwards, Joanne Gale and Helen Ryan
 

In NSW primary schools, classroom breaks for children to consume fruit or vegetables and drink water rely on parental provision of produce. This pilot intervention showed that provision of free produce to previously non-participating children was required to ensure equitable reach of the C&S program.

Published online 06 March 2017

HE16075Outdoor gyms and older adults – acceptability, enablers and barriers: a survey of park users

Vicki Stride, Leonie Cranney, Ashleigh Scott and Myna Hua
 

Increasing physical activity will assist older adults to maintain and improve their health. The availability of outdoor gyms in Australia is increasing. This research establishes whether outdoor gyms are an acceptable form of physical activity for older adults. Results indicate that older adults will use outdoor gyms with a variety of equipment and shade.

Published online 06 March 2017

HE16107Are motivational signs to increase stair use a thing of the past? A multi-building study

Lina Engelen, Joanne Gale, Josephine Y. Chau and Adrian Bauman
 

Posters promoting stair use might be a thing of the past. Stair climbing is a great way to incorporate incidental physical activity into daily life and posters are often used to promote stair use; however, our work suggests that posters are ineffective. These results indicate that more interactive modes of promoting stair use may be required.

Published online 20 February 2017

HE16085Changes in smoking, drinking, overweight and physical inactivity in young Australian women 1996–2013

Jennifer R. Powers, Deborah Loxton, Amy E. Anderson, Annette J. Dobson, Gita D. Mishra, Richard Hockey and Wendy J. Brown
 

Smoking, risky drinking, overweight and obesity, and inadequate physical activity increase the risk of poor health. In the last two decades, only smoking has decreased significantly (but not among less educated women), while overweight and obesity has increased in all groups of young women. Although smoking interventions have been successful, weight control measures among young women have been futile.

Published online 09 February 2017

HE16119Cyclists’ perceptions of motorist harassment pre- to post-trial of the minimum passing distance road rule amendment in Queensland, Australia

Kristiann C. Heesch, Amy Schramm, Ashim Kumar Debnath and Narelle Haworth
 

Cyclists’ perceptions of harassment by motorists discourages cycling. This study compared the percentage of cyclists reporting harassment pre- to post-introduction of a minimal passing distance road rule amendment. The study found that cyclists continued to perceive harassment by motorists after the road rule was introduced, which indicates that minimum passing distance rules may not improve cyclists’ perceptions of motorists’ behaviours.

Published online 27 January 2017

HE16070Behaviours and attitudes of recreational fishers toward safety at a ‘blackspot’ for fishing fatalities in Western Australia

Randall Jasper, Barbara A. Stewart and Andrew Knight
 

Fishers in Western Australia were surveyed to investigate differences in behaviours and attitudes towards personal safety while fishing. Fishers born in Asia were poorer swimmers than other groups yet were more likely to have fished from rocks than those born elsewhere. Although most respondents agreed that wearing a life jacket would make fishing safer, 78% ‘never’ wore a life jacket while fishing. Activities aimed at reducing rock fishing fatalities need to be directed towards improving survivability when a fisher is unexpectedly washed into the sea. These could include making the wearing of life jackets mandatory while rock fishing.

Published online 19 January 2017

HE16090Are regional and remote Western Australian children eating for good health? An investigation into fruit and vegetable consumption

Stephanie L. Godrich, Johnny Lo, Christina R. Davies, Jill Darby and Amanda Devine
 

This study used caregiver–child dyads ((n = 256) and 24-hour dietary diaries ((n = 196) to ascertain Australian Dietary Guideline (ADG) adherence among regional/remote Western Australian children. More children met fruit (65.8%) than vegetable (15.4%) recommendations, which were not impacted by remoteness. Fruit and vegetable types and varieties significantly differed between regional/remote locations.

Published online 19 January 2017

HE16036A snapshot of physical activity programs targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia

Rona Macniven, Michelle Elwell, Kathy Ride, Adrian Bauman and Justin Richards
 

Promoting physical activity is a promising strategy to reduce chronic disease and social disparities between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and non-Indigenous Australians. This study identified and documented 13 key aspects of physical activity programs targeting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, finding 110 current and recent programs. Examining current program practice represents an important initial step in informing future directions and evaluation.

Published online 19 January 2017

HE16052Barriers and facilitators to participation in workplace health promotion (WHP) activities: results from a cross-sectional survey of public-sector employees in Tasmania, Australia

Michelle Kilpatrick, Leigh Blizzard, Kristy Sanderson, Brook Teale, Kim Jose and Alison Venn
 

It is important to better understand how organisations can maximise employee engagement in workplace health promotion (WHP). This study identified WHP implementation strategies that were associated with participation in more types of WHP activities, and the barriers associated with less participation. The findings provide evidence from the ‘real-world’ delivery of WHP by a large public-sector organisation across many different work settings.

Published online 12 January 2017

HE16054Sitting ducks face chronic disease: an analysis of newspaper coverage of sedentary behaviour as a health issue in Australia 2000–2012

Josephine Y. Chau, Catriona Bonfiglioli, Amy Zhong, Zeljko Pedisic, Michelle Daley, Bronwyn McGill and Adrian Bauman
 

This study examines how sedentary behaviour was covered as a health issue in Australian newspapers between 2000 and 2012 and how physical activity was framed within this newspaper coverage. Adults who sat a lot were portrayed as ‘sitting ducks’ for ill health. Benefits of physical activity independent of sedentary behaviour were neglected. It is important that the entire ‘move more, sit less, every day!’ message is communicated.


Despite the mushrooming of men’s sheds in Australia in recent years, little is known about the health status, knowledge or health behaviours of shed members, particularly in rural areas. This study found that rural sheds in South Australia primarily cater for older, retired, lesser educated men from lower socioeconomic strata with one or more age-related chronic conditions and health knowledge deficits in reproductive and psychological health. GPs are the preferred source of health advice and hands-on formats for health education are preferred.

Published online 19 December 2016

HE16020Establishing a sustainable childhood obesity monitoring system in regional Victoria

Nicholas Crooks, Claudia Strugnell, Colin Bell and Steve Allender
 

Infrequent monitoring has led to uncertainty about trends in childhood obesity prevalence. Our aim was to establish a sustainable childhood obesity monitoring system in regional Australia using a passive (opt-out) consent process and employing a census-style sampling technique. This system has the potential to provide sustainable monitoring of childhood obesity, which is vital to understanding the problem of childhood obesity in this region.

Published online 19 December 2016

HE16082Nurse provision of support to help inpatients quit smoking

V. Malone, N. Ezard, S. Hodge, L. Ferguson, A. Schembri and B. Bonevski
 

Smoking has been linked to an increased risk for cancers and cardiovascular disease. This study engaged hospital nurses to find out why routine smoking cessation care was not provided. Nurses did not have confidence in their knowledge and skills in smoking cessation to support patients to quit smoking. Education and training in smoking cessation best practice should be available to all nursing staff.

Published online 02 December 2016

HE16021Evaluation of a pilot school-based physical activity challenge for primary students

E. Passmore, C. Donato-Hunt, L. Maher, R. Havrlant, K. Hennessey, A. Milat and L. Farrell
 

The Culture Health Communities Activity Challenge aims to encourage physical activity in primary students, with a focus on engaging Aboriginal students. Participation in the Challenge was associated with increased physical activity and decreased screen time. Students and teachers also reported positive social and educational outcomes. The findings demonstrate that school-based physical activity programs can be engaging for classes with high proportions of Aboriginal students.

Published online 18 November 2016

HE16063Australian university smoke-free policy implementation: a staff and student survey

Ashleigh Guillaumier, Billie Bonevski, Christine Paul, John Wiggers, John Germov, Dylan Mitchell and Diane Bunch
 

Universities represent important settings for public health initiatives such as smoke-free policies; however, policy implementation does not necessarily result in a smoke-free environment. University students believe enforcement of smoke-free policies is necessary; however, staff do not see enforcement as part of their role. Explicit enforcement plans, and specific training and support for enforcement roles, are required to avoid pervasive policy non-compliance.

Published online 02 November 2016

HE16013Acceptability of alcohol supply to children – associations with adults' own age of initiation and social norms

Conor Gilligan, Bernadette Ward, Rebecca Kippen, Penny Buykx and Kathy Chapman
 

The age at which adults started drinking alcohol is strongly associated with the age at which they believe it is acceptable to introduce children to alcohol at home. This phenomenon has the potential to perpetuate a cycle of early initiation and risk of alcohol-related problems.

Published online 31 October 2016

HE16017A survey of cervical screening among refugee and non-refugee African immigrant women in Brisbane, Australia

Judith A. Anaman, Ignacio Correa-Velez and Julie King
 

Regular cervical screening has lessened the burden of cervical cancer in developed countries; however, access to these practices is not readily available in these countries. This study examined screening practices among refugee and non-refugee women from Africa living in Brisbane. The evidence will help to develop screening interventions that meaningfully engage African immigrant women to enhance screening practices.

Published online 28 October 2016

HE16026Impact of increasing social media use on sitting time and body mass index

Stephanie Alley, Pauline Wellens, Stephanie Schoeppe, Hein de Vries, Amanda L. Rebar, Camille E. Short, Mitch J. Duncan and Corneel Vandelanotte
 

Social media use is on the rise, but we have little understanding of its impact on sitting time and body mass index (BMI). Our findings demonstrate that computer sitting in leisure time and total sitting on non-workdays increase with social media use. Social media use may therefore be negatively affecting health.

Published online 20 October 2016

HE16011The influence of front-of-pack nutrition information on consumers' portion size perceptions

Hannah May Brown, Nienke de Vlieger, Clare Collins and Tamara Bucher
 

There is a potential for food labels to influence portion size selection of foods, and therefore affect weight status. This study aimed to examine whether two food labels (a kJ/100 g label and the Health Star Rating label) influenced portion size selection of young adults and found that neither label had an effect. These results indicate that current food labels may not be effective in assisting young people to make appropriate portion size selections. This, in turn, could affect weight status, nutrient intake and overall health.

Published online 13 October 2016

HE15130Going up, going down: the experience, control and management of gestational diabetes mellitus among Southeast Asian migrant women living in urban Australia

Sansnee Jirojwong, Suzanne Brownhill, Hannah G. Dahlen, Maree Johnson and Virginia Schmied
 

The rate of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) for Asian-born women is higher than for other groups. A qualitative interpretive design was used to explore Southeast Asian migrant women’s experience and management of GDM at two Sydney hospitals. They likened their experience of GDM to an elevator ride, which was modulated by ‘insulin’ and ‘information’ to control the disease and manage blood glucose levels, dietary levels, exercise levels and anxiety levels. Better understanding of cultural interpretations may help health professionals support women with GDM.

Published online 06 October 2016

HE16019Does on-site chaplaincy enhance the health and well being of fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) personnel?

Angela Ebert and Karin Strehlow
 

Fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) work can be associated with mental-health, personal and family-related issues, challenging the well being of workers. This study evaluated whether a 24/7 onsite chaplaincy service can mitigate some of the adverse effects of FIFO work. We found that the proactive outreach approach of chaplains offered effective support, benefitting the health and well being of FIFO employees


Aboriginal young people may experience high rates of family violence and poorer reproductive and sexual health than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. To address some of the disparities, the Strong Family Program was developed, based on an extensive consultation process with Aboriginal communities, to deliver reproductive and sexual health promotion and education to Aboriginal communities in New South Wales. Participation increased reproductive and sexual health knowledge and positive attitudes. Health promotion and education with Aboriginal communities should be based on community consultations and carried out within a culturally appropriate framework to promote greatest success.

Published online 01 August 2016

HE15134Local community playgroup participation and associations with social capital

Cecily Strange, Alexander Bremner, Colleen Fisher, Peter Howat and Lisa Wood
 

Parents of young children need opportunities to build community connections and social support networks where they live. Parents who participated in locally placed playgroups were more connected to their local community than parents who participated in playgroups outside their local residential area. Locally placed playgroups have the potential to foster local community connectedness for families with young children.

Published online 06 July 2016

HE15109Engaging South Australian local governments in the development of healthy eating policies

Louisa Matwiejczyk, Kaye Mehta and Jane Scott
 

Local governments are uniquely placed to influence the food environment of their communities through healthy eating policies (HEPs) but few have done so. Using a community-based participatory approach, the capacity of 31 South Australian local governments to develop and implement a HEP was increased with 14 endorsed policies. HEPs provide important structural mechanisms to enable local governments to facilitate healthy eating.


The incidence of smoking among clients using homeless services is extraordinarily high. While nurses from an Australian homeless program were aware of their clients’ smoking habits, they underestimated the interest in quitting, which was expressed by many clients. With some simple organisational system changes to homeless services, appropriate cessation assistance could be provided to this vulnerable population.

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Congratulations to Annabel Axford and Drew Carter, winners of the Ray James Award for 2016.

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