Original Articles

Health behaviour surveillance of Health Sciences students in Northern Germany: Design and first results


Abstract


Background

Health of students have most often been neglected in recent studies, although students face a transition of life during their studies which has strong implications on health.  During that time, universities play a key role as a setting where future professionals develop independence and learn skills possibly affecting their development and health. Nevertheless, less in known about this group in society and consequently, the aim of this research project was to monitor health of Health Sciences students through a long-term health surveillance system.

Methods

Since 2014, an almost complete convenience sample of Health Sciences students is surveyed twice a year at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences. A paper-pencil questionnaire, which includes questions about socio-demographics, well-being, health-promoting and health-risk behaviours, is administered during courses.

Results

Our first surveys achieved response rates of more than 97%. Up to 83% of enrolled students were reached. Undergraduate Health Sciences students reported health-risk behaviours, e.g. binge-drinking on 1 to 2 days (33.9%), regular cannabis use (4.2%), regular cognitive-enhancement (4.0%). Moreover, unhealthy diet was prevalent but almost all students were physically active.

Conclusions

A short paper-pencil questionnaire administered during courses and conducted according to standardized processes provides complete data on students’ health with little effort. Trends can be determined, which assist in making decision whether to take action in prevention and/or to evaluate campaigns. These first results show the need for a more targeted health promotion action for students.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2427/11407

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aprex-15629

References



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EBPH Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health | ISSN 2282-0930

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