263161 Health related issues identified as academic impediments among college students with disabilities

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Donna Bernert, PhD, LSHE , School of Health Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Kele Ding, Ph.D., MD. , School of Health Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Health among college students has been widely explored, but rarely inclusive of students with disabilities. Using the 2009 ACHA-NCHA II, our study investigated health issues that create academic impediments among college students with disabilities. Of 60,940 participating undergraduate students attending college in the United States, 10,371 (17%) reported having at least one disability. Most popular disabilities included psychiatric condition, chronic illness, and learning disability. College students with disabilities tended to be 24 or more years old, of an ethnic minority, and bisexual, gay, or lesbian. Of the 31 types of academic impediment surveyed, 47.3% of students without disabilities did not report any health related academic impediments compared to 25.2% of students with disabilities. Stress, sleep difficulties, anxiety, cold/flu/sore throat were among the top five impediments to academic performance for both samples. Adjusted odds ratios of reporting academic impediments by students with disabilities were significantly higher on the 20 most reported academic impediments, especially learning disability (odds=50.29), ADHD (odds=21.63), chronic health problem (odds=11.69), chronic pain (odds=9.18), depression (odds=4.48), and anxiety (odds=3.24). Comparing the types of disabilities, students with psychiatric condition had the highest risk to report academic impediments. Both the number of academic impediments reported and disability status significantly increased the chance to receive a D or F grade. Our study summarizes health related academic impediments and provides implications for health promotion. This presentation increases awareness among health professionals with the intent to improve health education programming and services for college students with disabilities to address their health and academic outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe health issues that influence academic performance among college students with disabilities; and 2. Identify possible health promotion interventions that address these health issues for community and college campus services.

Keywords: Disability, College Students

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a faculty in Health Education and Promotion. My research areas are substance abuse, research method and data analysis, and college health.
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.