Individual health behaviour effects after experiencing an adverse health shock.
The study evaluates how individuals respond to health shocks on their health behaviour. This is done by using data from the CentERdata and acquiring a reference point out of the data of their health behaviour from before the health shock. The health behaviour after the health shock is then subtracted by the reference point to measure the effect. The health behaviour variables are transformed so that they can measure if the average behaviour change is positive or negative for the questionnaire population. Different type of health shocks are tested on eight different health behaviours these are smoking, alcohol consumption, abuse of substances, physical activity, sleep, vegetables, fruit and dieting. These health behaviours are aggregated to gain insight in the overall change of health behaviour. The results show that short term health behaviour change occurs mostly due to exogenous health shocks that have an immediate impact, such as experiencing a heart attack or a stroke. Other predictors that lead to change are the individual’s emotional state and the severity of the health shock, tested by hospitalization.