Health risk factors and health promoting behavior of medical, dental and nursing students

J Clin Epidemiol. 1995 Jun;48(6):841-9. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(94)00193-t.


The assumption of this study is: the preventive care beliefs and practices of health science students stand-out among the general public. To test this assumption, a survey of beliefs, behaviors and disease prevention practices of medical, dental, undergraduate and graduate nursing students in three health science schools was carried out in New Jersey. All students in these three schools were included in the study. A questionnaire which consisted of information on socio-demographic, life style patterns, health risk factors, and preventive cares was used. Results showed that 99% of the students knew their blood pressure, 10% were cigarette smokers and 3% were heavy drinkers. Approximately 68% of the students exercised regularly and 78% of them used seat belts. About 81 and 79% of the female students had regular clinical breast examinations (CBE) and pelvic examinations, respectively. It is worth noting that 10% of medical and dental students had driven an automobile under the influence of alcohol. About 77% of all students did not know their cholesterol levels, and 14% of dental students reported no concern about fat consumption. Only 38% of the female students reported monthly breast self examination (BSE). Over 27% of undergraduate nursing and 14% of all students never had a Papanicolaou (Pap) test. The main reasons for never having a Pap test, CBE, and pelvic examinations were: they did not think it was necessary and they believed that they were not at risk. The major reason for not performing BSE was forgetfulness.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Promotion / trends
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • New Jersey
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools, Health Occupations
  • Students, Dental / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Students, Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires