Health Promoting Lifestyle Behaviour in Medical Students: a Multicentre Study from Turkey


Background: The aim of this study was to determine the predictors of health promoting lifestyle behaviouramong medical students attending seven of the medical schools in Turkey. Materials and
Methods: This crosssectionaldescriptive study was performed during the second semester of the first and last (sixth) years of studyfrom March to May 2011. A questionnaire with two sections was specifically designed. The first section containedquestions on demographic characteristics; the second consisted of the Health Promoting Lifestyle Profile II (HPLP)Scale. From a total of 2,309 medical students, 2,118 (response rate 91.7%) completed the questionnaire. Data wereanalyzed using descriptive statistics, t, Anova, Tukey test and binary logistic regression analysis. The researchwas approved by the Ethics Committee of Erciyes University.
Results: The mean age was 20.7±2.9 years and itwas found that 55.1% were men, 62.3% were in the first year. The overall prevalence of smoking was 19.1%,and for drinking alcohol was 19.4%. HPLP point averages of the first year students were 129.2±17.7, and forlast year 125.5±19.0. The overall mean score for the HPLP II was 2.5±0.4. They scored highest on the spiritualgrowth subscale (2.9±0.5), interpersonal relations (2.8±0.5), health responsibility subscale (2.3±0.5), nutritionsubscale (2.3±0.5), stress management subscale (2.3±0.4), and the lowest subscale physical activity (2.0±0.5). It isestablished that student’s grade, educational level of parents, economic status of family, marital status, smokingand general health perception of the students resulted in a significant difference in HPLP Scale total score averageand the mean score of majority of subscales.There was no statistically significant difference between the totalHPLP when evaluated for gender, chronic disease, alcohol drinking status and BMI.
Conclusions: Based onthese results, particularly in the curriculum of medical students in order to increase positive health behavioursincluding physical activity, health promotion issues, and giving more space to aim at behaviour change in thesematters is recommended.