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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
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dept. of Rehabilitation. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ADULT.
School of Health and Welfare, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden.
School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skövde, Sweden.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ, Dept. of Social Work. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. SALVE (Social challenges, Actors, Living conditions, reseach VEnue). Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. ADULT.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3801-0541
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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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2022. Vol. 22, no 1, article id 1314
Keywords [en]
Health and health-promoting resources, Health behavior, Healthy lifestyles, Higher education, Occupational Balance Questionnaire, Salutogenesis, Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale, Sense of coherence, Students’ health, adult, article, controlled study, cross-sectional study, educational status, female, habit, health program, healthy lifestyle, high intensity exercise, human, longitudinal study, major clinical study, male, multicenter study, Sense of Coherence Scale, sleep, social work, Sweden, Swedish citizen, tertiary education, wellbeing, clinical trial, health care delivery, questionnaire, student, Cross-Sectional Studies, Delivery of Health Care, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Students, Surveys and Questionnaires
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-58048DOI: 10.1186/s12889-022-13690-zISI: 000823651600001PubMedID: 35804344Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85133710137Local ID: GOA;;822881OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-58048DiVA, id: diva2:1684490
Available from: 2022-07-26 Created: 2022-07-26 Last updated: 2023-08-28Bibliographically approved

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Ahlstrand, IngerEkman, AiméeLindmark, Ulrika

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HHJ, Dept. of RehabilitationHHJ. ADULTHHJ, Dept. of Social WorkHHJ. SALVE (Social challenges, Actors, Living conditions, reseach VEnue)HHJ, Dept. of Natural Science and BiomedicineHHJ. Centre for Oral HealthHHJ. ARN-J (Aging Research Network - Jönköping)
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