226949 Ping my health: An Internet-based college student health risk appraisal with tailored feedback

Monday, November 8, 2010

Anna H.L. Floyd, PhD , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
David B. Buller, PhD , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Erika J. Edwards, BS , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Erwin Bettinghaus, PhD , Klein Buendel, Inc., Golden, CO
Rob Martin , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Travis Trigg , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Tad Spencer, MA, TAS , The BACCHUS Network, Denver, CO
Julie Maloy, MS , Klein Buendel, Golden, CO
Health risk appraisals (HRAs) are commonly used to provide risk-reduction advice. Ping my Health, a web-based HRA, assesses young adults' health behaviors and provides immediate tailored feedback. Ping my Health was promoted to college students through a U.S. college health network and online advertisements using Google Adwords between September 2007 and December 2009. The HRA was completed by 22,714 college students (96.8% completion rate [starting n=23,458]; mean age = 20.7, SD = 2.8; 90.5% not Hispanic; 81.6% White; 33.9% male; 31.5% Freshman). From most to least prevalent, the health risks reported included eating inadequate servings of fruits and vegetables (91.1%); binge drinking (44.9%); eating fast food at least once/week (47.4%); having unprotected sexual intercourse (40.2% of those sexually active); inadequate physical activity (32.9%); feeling depressed in past year (30.1%), experiencing excessive stress (26.8%); driving while intoxicated (25.5%); smoking (14.0%); using marijuana (13.1%); and using smokeless tobacco (3.8%). On average, students exhibited 4.6 (out of 13) risk behaviors (SD=2.0); all but 12 participants reported engaging in at least 1 risk behavior. Further analyses revealed three profiles of co-occurring health behaviors: Risky Behaviors (binge drinking, smoking tobacco, intoxicated driving, marijuana use, and risky sexual intercourse), Wellness Behaviors (physical activity, fruit and vegetable intake, and fast food consumption), and Mental Health (depression and stress). College students engage in a variety of risky health behaviors, with poor nutrition and binge drinking being the most prevalent. The multi-faceted profiles of risky behavior underscore the importance of developing interventions that address multiple risk behaviors simultaneously.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the most prevalent health risk behaviors among college students in the United States. 2. Identify which types of prevalent risk behaviors co-occur.

Keywords: Risky Behaviors, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present this material because I conduct research on college studentsí health risk perceptions and behaviors. I am a post-doctoral fellow at Klein Buendel, Inc., a health communication research and media development firm in Golden, Colorado.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.