Health promotion in young adults at a university in Korea: A cross-sectional study of 625 participants in a university

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Abstract

Young adulthood is a critical developmental period for establishing life-long health behaviors. However, too little attention has been paid to young adult health promotion. The purpose of this study was to describe the processes of development and implementation involved in a collaborative university-wide health promotion program and to evaluate the achievements of the program.

A 3-day university-wide health promotion program was developed and implemented in the nation's largest public university in South Korea in September 2013. Its objectives were to heighten health awareness, to promote healthy behaviors, especially active lifestyle and healthy diet, and to disseminate health knowledge, skills, and access to health resources among young people. The program comprised 14 health lectures, 12 events, and 25 booths. To monitor and evaluate the program, a cross-sectional postevent survey was conducted. A convenience sample of 625 university members who participated in the program was used. The statistics were analyzed with a general linear model and paired t test.

The program evaluation demonstrated that this university-wide program effectively provided opportunities for students to access health information, knowledge, skills, self-confidence, and available health services and resources. Participants positively evaluated most of the processes of the program activities and services. Participants’ overall evaluation score (83% rated “excellent” or “good”) and reparticipation intention (86%) were high. The majority of participants reported increased awareness of health (80%) and the need for a university health promotion program (87%) after the program. Most of the evaluation scores were similarly high for health lectures and booths/events.

In conclusion, the university-wide health promotion program was effective in improving university members’ health awareness and providing opportunities for students to access various health information and resources. We believe that our results would be useful for sharing information on the planning and implementation of future university health promotion programs.

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