Evaluation of healthy lifestyle behaviors and related factors in medical students

Dörtkol A., Özdemir L.

Cumhuriyet Tıp Dergisi (ELEKTRONİK), vol.43, no.1, pp.20-30, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Objective: A healthy lifestyle can be defined as the adoption and implementation of behaviors that will reduce the risk of a serious illness or premature death, as well as protect and improve health levels. The aim of this study was to determine healthy lifestyle behaviors of students in a medical faculty and to investigate the relationships between healthy lifestyle behaviors and various factors. Method: This descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at Bursa Uludağ University Faculty of Medicine between October 2019 and March 2020. A total of 357 students attending the first and sixth grade of medical faculty were included in the study. The data were collected by a questionnaire included questions about the sociodemographic characteristics of the participants and Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Scale II (HLBS-II). Results: Of the respondents, 54.3% (n=194) were women and 52.7% (n=188) were sixth-year graduates. Most of them were living apart from family (in a private house or dormitory) (n=258, 72.3%) and stated their health status as very good/good (n=286, 80.1%). Students, who were living with their families (p=0.039), who had very good/good level of health status perception (p<0.001), whose fathers’ educational level was high school or above (p=0.004), who were non-smokers (p=0.003), and who were not drinking alcohol (p=0.001) had significantly higher HLBS-II total scores. Furthermore, HLBS-II total score (p=0.003), physical activity (p<0.001), spiritual growth (p<0.001), and interpersonal relationships (p=0.039) subscale scores of first-year students were significantly higher than sixth-year students. Conclusions: It was observed that the healthy lifestyle behaviors of medical students did not develop in a positive way despite the education they received. Examining of students' health habits at regular intervals and developing multisectoral on-campus health programs should be considered as an opportunity to improve the health of both students and the community. Keywords: Health promotion, healthy lifestyle, medical education, medical students.