Changes and specificities in health behaviors among healthcare students over an 8-year period - Normandie Université Access content directly
Journal Articles PLoS ONE Year : 2018

Changes and specificities in health behaviors among healthcare students over an 8-year period


BACKGROUND: Healthcare students are future health care providers and serve as role models and coaches to enhance behaviors for healthy lifestyles. However healthcare students face multiple stressors that could lead to adopting risk behaviors. OBJECTIVES: To assess the changes in health risk factors among healthcare students between 2007 and 2015, and to identify specific health behaviors based on the curriculum in a population of healthcare students. METHODS: Two cross sectionnal studies were conducted in 2007 and 2015 among nursing, medical, pharmacy, and physiotherapy students (Rouen, France). During compulsory courses and examination sessions students filled self-administered questionnaires on socio-demographic characteristics and behavior as: tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, cannabis consumption, eating disorders, regular practice of sport, perceived health, stress and use of psychotropic drugs. RESULTS: 2,605 healthcare students were included (1,326 in 2007 and 1,279 in 2015), comprising 1,225 medical students (47.0%), 738 nursing students (28.3%), 362 pharmacy students (13.9%), and 280 physiotherapy students (10.8%). Between 2007 and 2015, occasional binge drinking and regular practice of sport increased significantly among healthcare students, respectively AOR = 1.48 CI95% (1.20-1.83) and AOR = 1.33 CI95% (1.11-1.60), regular cannabis consumption decreased significantly, AOR = 0.32 CI95% (0.19-0.54). There was no change in smoking or overweight/obese. There was a higher risk of frequent binge drinking and a lower risk of tobacco smoking in all curricula than in nursing students. Medical students practiced sport on a more regular basis, were less overweight/obese, had fewer eating disorders than nursing students. CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate a stable frequency of classic behaviors as smoking but a worsening of emerging behaviors as binge drinking among healthcare students between 2007 and 2015. Health behaviors differed according to healthcare curricula and nursing students demonstrated higher risks. As health behaviors are positively related to favorable attitudes towards preventive counseling, therefore healthcare students should receive training in preventive counseling and develop healthy lifestyles targeted according to the health curriculum.

Dates and versions

hal-02333129 , version 1 (25-10-2019)



M. Tavolacci, J. Delay, S. Grigioni, P Dechelotte, J. Ladner. Changes and specificities in health behaviors among healthcare students over an 8-year period. PLoS ONE, 2018, 13 (3), pp.e0194188. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0194188⟩. ⟨hal-02333129⟩
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