Health-promoting Lifestyle Behaviour for Cancer Prevention: a Survey of Turkish University Students


Background: Health risks associated with unhealthy behaviours in adolescent and university studentscontribute to the development of health problems in later life. During the past twenty years, there has been adramatic increase in public, private, and professional interest in preventing disability and death through changesin lifestyle and participation in screening programs. The aim of the study was to evaluate university students’health-promoting lifestyle behaviour for cancer prevention.
Method: This study was carried out on universitystudents who had education in sports, health and social areas in Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey. Thehealth-promoting lifestyles of university students were measured with the ‘‘health-promoting lifestyle profile(HPLP)’’ The survey was conducted from March 2011 to July 2011 and the study sample consisted of 1007university students. T-test, ANOVA and multiple regression analyses were used for statistical analyses.
Results:In the univariate analyses, the overall HPLP score was significantly related to students’ school, sex, age, schoolgrades, their status of received health education lessons, place of birth, longest place of residence, current placeof residence, health insurance, family income, alcohol use, their status in sports, and self-perceived health status.Healthier behaviour was found in those students whose parents had higher secondary degrees, and in studentswho had no siblings. In the multiple regression model, healthier behaviour was observed in Physical Educationand Sports students, fourth-year students, those who exercised regularly, had a good self-perceived health status,who lived with their family, and who had received health education lessons.
Conclusion: In general, in order toensure cancer prevention and a healthy life style, social, cultural and sportive activities should be encouragedand educational programmes supporting these goals should be designed and applied in all stages of life fromchildhood through adulthood.