258282 Correlation of CAM Student Perceptions of Health and Modifiable Risk Factors

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Anupama Kizhakkeveettil, BAMS (Ayu), MAOM , Research, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, CA
Kevin Rose, DC, MPH , Office of Academic Affairs, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, CA
Claire Johnson, MSEd, DC , Editor, Professor, National University of Health Sciences, Oceanside, CA
Objective Current literature supports the correlation between modifiable risk factors and health. At present, no studies have evaluated the correlation between reported healthy behaviors and health perception of students attending complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) colleges. The purpose of this study was to identify if there is a correlation between CAM students' perception of health and their reported health behaviors.

Methods A survey of students attending a CAM educational institution in California conducted in 2011 included demographics, healthy behaviors and health perception. A paper survey was administered in one class for each cohort of students enrolled in each program (chiropractic, acupuncture/oriental medicine, ayurvedic medicine and massage therapy program) of the university. Data were entered into SPSS for analysis. Chi square statistics were computed for modifiable health behaviors that correlated with the student's perception of health.

Results Of the 508 eligible students, 300 surveys were completed (60%). The correlation between students' perception of health and smoking (p=0.8) or alcohol consumption (0.169) was not significant. Coffee consumption (p=0.007) and meals at fast food restaurants (p=0.036) were inversely correlated with perception of health, and physical activity (p < 0.001) was positively correlated.

Conclusion This study shows that reported behaviors such as smoking and alcohol consumption do not seem to be associated with health perceptions, but that physical activity and low consumption of coffee and fast food were associated with better health perception in CAM university students. Results from this study may help give direction to health promotion programs on CAM university campuses.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe perception of health and modifiable risk factors associated with health 2. Compare the association between perception of health and healthy behaviors for CAM students 3. Discuss future research and health promotion programs for CAM campuses

Keywords: Wellness, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an Assistant Professor at a CAM University, I have been teaching courses related to health promotion for 7 years. I was involved with this study from the begining.
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.