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Health-promoting factors among students in higher education within health care and social work: a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data in a multicentre longitudinal study
Department of Rehabilitation, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping (SWE).
School of Health and Welfare, Halmstad University, Box 823, S-30118, Halmstad (SWE).
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skövde (SWE).
Department of Social Work, School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University, Jönköping (SWE).
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2022 (English)In: BMC Public Health, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 22, no 1, article id 1314Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Educational environments are considered important in strengthening students’ health status and knowledge, which are associated with good educational outcomes. It has been suggested to establish healthy universities based on a salutogenic approach – namely, health promotion. The aim of this study was to describe health-promoting resources and factors among first-semester students in higher education in healthcare and social work. Methods: This cross-sectional study is based on a survey distributed among all students in seven healthcare and social work programmes at six universities in southern Sweden. The survey was carried out in 2018 using a self-reported, web-based questionnaire focussing on general health and well-being, lifestyle factors together with three validated instruments measuring health-promoting factors and processes: the Sense of Coherence (SOC) scale, Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale (SHIS) and Occupational Balance Questionnaire (OBQ). Results: Of 2283 students, 851 (37.3%) completed the survey, of whom 742 (87.1%) were women; 722 (84.8%) were enrolled on healthcare programmes, and 129 (15.2%) were enrolled on social work programmes. Most reported good general health and well-being (88.1% and 83.7%, respectively). The total mean scores for the SOC scale, SHIS and OBQ were, respectively, 59.09 (SD = 11.78), 44.04 (SD = 9.38) and 26.40 (SD = 7.07). Well-being and several healthy lifestyles were related to better general health and higher SOC, SHIS and OBQ scores. Multiple linear and logistic regressions showed that perceived well-being and no sleeping problems significantly predicted higher general health and higher SOC, SHIS and OBQ scores. Being less sedentary and non-smoking habits were significant predictors of higher SOC. Conclusions: Swedish students in higher education within the healthcare and social work sector report good general health and well-being in the first semester, as well as health-promoting resources (i.e. SOC, SHIS and OBQ), and in some aspects, a healthy lifestyle. High-intensity exercise, no sleeping problems and non-smoking seem to be of importance to both general health and health-promotive resources. This study contributes to knowledge about the health promotive characteristics of students in the healthcare and social work fields, which is of importance for planning universities with a salutogenic approach. © 2022, The Author(s).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central (BMC), 2022. Vol. 22, no 1, article id 1314
Keywords [en]
Cross-Sectional Studies; Delivery of Health Care; Female; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Male; Sense of Coherence; Social Work; Students; Surveys and Questionnaires; adult; article; controlled study; cross-sectional study; educational status; female; habit; health behavior; health program; healthy lifestyle; high intensity exercise; human; longitudinal study; major clinical study; male; multicenter study; sense of coherence; Sense of Coherence Scale; sleep; social work; Sweden; Swedish citizen; tertiary education; wellbeing; clinical trial; cross-sectional study; health care delivery; longitudinal study; questionnaire; social work; student
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
NURSING AND PUBLIC HEALTH SCIENCE, Nursing science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-19185DOI: 10.1186/s12889-022-13690-zISI: 000823651600001PubMedID: 35804344Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85133710137OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-19185DiVA, id: diva2:1715765
Note

The six universities in the Swedish framework for ‘Health Research in Collaboration’ and Region Västra Götaland jointly financed the cost of project management. All authors receive regular research support from their respective universities. This research project has not received external funding and has not undergone peer review by the funding body.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Available from: 2022-12-02 Created: 2022-12-02 Last updated: 2023-08-28

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Nunstedt, HåkanPennbrant, Sandra

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