274281 Evaluation of a university health and wellness course on student outcomes and behaviors at a large Midwestern university

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Chandra Jennings, MSE, CHES , Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Science, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
Background: College students comprise a diverse population with unique access to health education via courses. The effects of college courses are important considering that students are in a growth and change period where they begin to solidify lifelong health behaviors. Research on the impact of these classes is important, for it may influence university policies, funding, and course requirements. Historically, research on the effect of such courses has found inconsistent results. Methods: The current study aimed to expand the current body of literature by analyzing the influence of a Personal and Community Health course at a large Midwestern university on students through a pre-post test design. Demographics, health indicators, perceived wellness, locus of control, self-efficacy, knowledge, and behaviors as they relate to health were measured through the International Health and Behaviour Survey, the Perceived Wellness Survey, and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Results: Over 300 students participated in the survey, and preliminary results show mixed results across different measures, consistent with past research. Analyses being conducted include paired sample t-tests to determine changes in measure responses across the semester, and multiple regression to determine if any demographic factors mediate change in measures. Discussion: This presentation will highlight the major findings of the research, as well as provides suggestions for university instructors, health educators, and administrators for positively influencing the wellness of their students through courses.

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

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the influence of college health courses on students' wellness, health behaviors, and outcomes. Identify strategies for positively influencing college students through health and wellness courses at their institution.

Keywords: College Students, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been instructing health and wellness courses at the university level for half a decade in addition to holding a MSE in health education, a CHES certification, and currently working on a PhD in health education. My research interests focus in the evaluation of health promotion methods for individuals in transitional periods in life, such as college.
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.