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Home > Predictors of health of pre-registration nursing and midwifery students: findings from a cross-sectional survey.

Deasy, Christine and Coughlan, Barry and Pironom, Julie and Jourdan, Didier and Mannix-McNamara, Patricia (2016) Predictors of health of pre-registration nursing and midwifery students: findings from a cross-sectional survey. Nurse Education Today , 36 , pp. 427-433.

BACKGROUND: Student nurses/midwives evidence less than exemplary lifestyle habits and poor emotional health, despite exposure to health education/promotion during their educational preparation. Knowledge of the factors that predict nursing/midwifery students' health could inform strategies to enhance their health and increase their credibility as future health promoters/educators.

OBJECTIVE: To establish the predictors of nursing/midwifery student emotional health.
SETTING: Cross-sectional survey took place at a university in Ireland.
PARTICIPANTS: We involved a total sample (n=473) student nurses/midwives.

METHODS: Participants completed the General Health Questionnaire, Lifestyle Behaviour Questionnaire and Ways of Coping Questionnaire to determine their self-reported emotional health, lifestyle behaviour and coping processes. Multivariate regression was performed to identify the predictors of student emotional health (dependent variable). The independent variables were demographics, coping, lifestyle behaviour and students' perceptions of determinants of their health.

RESULTS: Many respondents reported significant emotional distress (48.71%) and unhealthy lifestyle behaviours including smoking (27.94%), physical inactivity (34.29%), alcohol consumption (91.7%) and unhealthy diet (28.05%). Multivariate regressions indicated that the predictors of emotional distress included gender, year of study, smoking, passive coping and beliefs that their student life was stressful or/and that worry stress and boredom adversely impacted their diet.

CONCLUSIONS: Targeting student's beliefs regarding influences upon their health, promotion of positive lifestyles and adaptive coping is necessary to facilitate health gain of future health professionals.

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