Health Knowledge among College Freshmen Students in Palestine
Abu Elhalaweh, Huda
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Inadequate health knowledge is associated with poor health status and increased rates of morbidity and mortality. College students with limited health knowledge may face many difficulties, ranging from what major to choose to lifestyle decisions that impact their health status in the present as well as in the future. The objectives of this descriptive cross sectional study were assessing the health knowledge among students of five colleges in Al Quds University, Palestine. Students from 5 colleges (580 undergraduate freshmen students: 307 males and 273 females) participated in this study. The study instrument was a 70-item inventory used to assess general health knowledge among undergraduate college freshmen students. The Health Knowledge Inventory (HKI) contains 10 questions from each of 7 health content areas. The results of this study confirmed that college-aged students are not well-informed about health. Of the 7 health topic subscales, percentage of correct responses ranged from 37.3% for communicable disease to 47.8%% for nutrition. Of major concern is the overall lack of health knowledge among these students in a time of growing health concerns for the 18-24 year-old age group. The results are discussed in light of implications for health education and health promotion programs at the college level. The findings of this study might facilitate development of appropriate health education and health promotion interventions for the college population. The researchers recommend including health courses within the teaching curricula as a compulsory and not as an elective for all college students regardless of their major.