Health behaviour surveillance - Establishing a surveillance system monitoring Health Sciences students at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

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Dokumentart: Diplomarbeit, Magisterarbeit, Master Thesis
Institut: Department Gesundheitswissenschaften
Sprache: Englisch
Erstellungsjahr: 2015
Publikationsdatum:
SWD-Schlagwörter: Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg
DDC-Sachgruppe: Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie, Anthropologie

Kurzfassung auf Englisch:

Approximately 2.6 million adults were enrolled at German universities in 2014. Thereby they build a large group in society from which future policy makers or professionals will be drawn. Despite the number and importance of students, little is known about their health and health behaviours. Therefore, this thesis aims to establish a health behaviour surveillance system to provide urgently required answers; now and in the future. In order to build a framework for this subject, this thesis starts with a theoretical and conceptual part. An introduction into surveillance through definitions, aims and concepts of surveillance systems in general is provided. In terms of the establishment of such a system, attributes as well as strengths and limitations are described (chapter 1). Data about health behaviours of students at universities is limited. However, the research landscape of existing investigations focusing on students in Germany is discussed (chapter 2). Only few of the existing investigations fulfil the definition of a surveillance system, which strive to systematically and periodically collect data as a basis to analyse and in turn report information about the occurrence and trends of health and health behaviours of students. Thus, chapter 2 also provide methodological recommendations, which serve as a practical guideline for the establishment of surveillance systems to monitor students at universities. Chapter 3 presents information about the health status of students in Germany to build a basis for illustrating the need of health behaviour surveillance of this target group. This includes classical health behaviours, such as nutrition, physical activity, smoking and alcohol. Above all, also shisha smoking and pharmacological “cognitive enhancement” among students are discussed. The key question is then: Do we need surveillance systems monitoring students’ health? Chapter 4 will deal with the public health relevance and necessity of an extended data basis in order to decide whether to take action in health promotion for students. As a result from this theoretical framework a second generation surveillance system to monitor Health Sciences students’ health and health behaviours at University of Applied Sciences Hamburg were established in 2014 (see chapter 5). Which methodological approaches are likely to be successful and also if students engage in health-promoting and health risk-behaviours are presented in form of a manuscript. In order to contribute to the knowledge in this research landscape, this manuscript will be submitted for publication in the International Journal of Public Health (chapter 7).

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