Objective: Living a healthy lifestyle in order to manage stress encountered in the health care system is important for health care professionals. The purpose of this study was to increase healthy behaviors of undergraduate students in professional health care majors by introducing a health promotion intervention in a required course. Participants: The sample consisted of 201 undergraduate health professional students from nursing (NUR) (n = 82, 40.8%), occupational therapy (OT) (n = 72, 35.8%), and speech- language pathology (SLP) (n = 47, 23.4%). Methods: A pretest-posttest comparison group design was used. The NUR and OT students received a health promotion intervention to encourage a healthy lifestyle in a required course. SLP students served as a comparison group and did not receive content on self health promotion. Results: The comparison group (SLP) had significantly lower scores on the overall Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile II (HPLPII), physical activity and nutrition scales at posttest when compared to pretest. In contrast, students in the intervention group (NUR & OT) significantly increased in their health responsibility as measured on the HPLPII survey at the end of the semester. Conclusions: Infusing content on healthy behaviors in undergraduate curricula may better prepare professionals for living a healthy lifestyle.
Stark, MA Hoekstra, T Hazel,DL Barton, B. (2012). Caring for self and others: Increasing health care students' healthy behaviors. Work, 42(3), 393-401.