Women attending the University of Saskatchewan Student Health Services are being offered human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination but are not filling their prescriptions. We sought to identify gaps in knowledge of the link between HPV infection, cervical dysplasia, and cervical cancer among women attending the Student Health Services, and to identify barriers to HPV vaccination among this cohort of women.
Women attending the University of Saskatchewan Student Health Services for any reason were invited to complete an 18-question survey. The survey included questions regarding knowledge of the purpose of Pap smears, the role of HPV infection in cervical dysplasia and cancer, and HPV vaccination. The questions were designed to elicit both quantitative and qualitative data. Data analysis included basic descriptive analysis and summarization of qualitative data.
Four hundred surveys were distributed, and 371 (91%) were returned. Eighty-two percent of participants were aware of the HPV vaccine, and 40% ranked their knowledge of HPV as good or very good; however, only 6% correctly answered questions about methods of preventing HPV infection. Participants identified cost (62%), concerns over adverse effects (43%), and lack of knowledge (36%) as barriers to undergoing vaccination. Comments about the HPV vaccine reflected frustration with cost and concerns about adverse effects. When participants were asked if they would undergo vaccination if it were free, 60% responded "yes," 31% responded "maybe," and 8% responded "no."
The young women in our survey had significant gaps in knowledge of HPV infection and prevention, and educational programs must be structured to address these deficits. Institutions promoting vaccination must deal with the barriers of cost and fear of adverse effects.
Concerns still exist among lesbian-, gay-, bisexual-, transgendered-, and queer-identified individuals (LGBTQ individuals) about their reception and treatment by psychiatric service providers. The Psychiatric Service at the University of Toronto and the Office of LGBTQ Resources and Programs convened a committee to address expanding the capacities of the Service related to the needs of LGBTQ and questioning students. In this paper, we describe the committee's role, initiatives, and successes and discuss challenges encountered in the process. The model of community development drawn from in this work can be adapted for use in other community health settings.
Alcohol is responsible for a large and growing proportion of the global burden of disease, as well as being the cause of social problems. Brief interventions are one component of comprehensive policy measures necessary to reduce these harms. Brief interventions increasingly take advantage of the Internet to reach large numbers of high risk groups such as students. The research literature on the efficacy and effectiveness of online interventions is developing rapidly. Although many studies show benefits in the form of reduced consumption, other intervention studies show no effects, for reasons that are unclear. Sweden became the first country in the world to implement a national system in which all university students are offered a brief online intervention via an e-mail.
This randomized controlled trial (RCT) aims to evaluate the effectiveness of this national system comprising a brief online intervention among university students who are hazardous and harmful drinkers. This study employs a conventional RCT design in which screening to determine eligibility precedes random allocation to immediate or delayed access to online intervention. The online intervention evaluated comprises three main components; assessment, normative feedback and advice on reducing drinking. Screening is confined to a single question in order to minimise assessment reactivity and to prevent contamination. Outcomes will be evaluated after 2 months, with total weekly alcohol consumption being the primary outcome measure. Invitations to participate are provided by e-mail to approximately 55,000 students in 9 Swedish universities.
This RCT evaluates routine service provision in Swedish universities via a delay in offer of intervention to the control group. It evaluates effects in the key population for whom this intervention has been designed. Study findings will inform the further development of the national service provision.
Alcohol causes huge problems for population health and for society, which require interventions with individuals as well as populations to prevent and reduce harms. Brief interventions can be effective and increasingly take advantage of the internet to reach high-risk groups such as students. The research literature on the effectiveness of online interventions is developing rapidly and is confronted by methodological challenges common to other areas of e-health including attrition and assessment reactivity and in the design of control conditions.
The study aim is to evaluate the effectiveness of a brief online intervention, employing a randomized controlled trial (RCT) design that takes account of baseline assessment reactivity, and other possible effects of the research process. Outcomes will be evaluated after 3 months both among student populations as a whole including for a randomized no contact control group and among those who are risky drinkers randomized to brief assessment and feedback (routine practice) or to brief assessment only. A three-arm parallel groups trial will also allow exploration of the magnitude of the feedback and assessment component effects. The trial will be undertaken simultaneously in 2 universities randomizing approximately 15,300 students who will all be blinded to trial participation. All participants will be offered routine practice intervention at the end of the study.
This trial informs the development of routine service delivery in Swedish universities and more broadly contributes a new approach to the study of the effectiveness of online interventions in student populations, with relevance to behaviors other than alcohol consumption. The use of blinding and deception in this study raise ethical issues that warrant further attention.
The aim of this Canadian study was to assess student behavioral response to disease transmission risk, while identifying high microbial deposition/transmission sites.
A student survey was conducted during October 2009.
The methods included a survey of students to assess use of health services, vaccination compliance, and hygiene along with a microbial analysis of potential transmission sites targeting specific residence buildings on campus.
Results indicated that most students maintained that they were worried about H1N1 and reported making changes in hygienic behavior, with the majority not planning to be vaccinated. The microbial analysis indicated contamination of fomites in co-ed residences to be higher than either male or female student residences.
A consideration of physical space along with behavioral factors is required in order to properly assess risk pathways in the establishment of an evidence-based infection control plan for universities and their contiguous communities.
Surveys of the use of antimicrobial drugs on students during antimicrobial drugs on students during their first 15 months in medical or dental school indicate that they have been treated with these agents at least three times as frequently as seems reasonable, and that the tetracyclines, ampicillin, penicillin G and erythromycin are the chief drugs overused. Antimicrobiol therapy is frequently instituted for probable viral respiratory tract infections and without any attempt to establish a bacteriologic diagnosis. It is likely that anitmicrobiol agents are used more widely in treating the general public in Canada than in treating medical students. Improvements in the rational use of this important group of drugs could increase the quality and probably reduced the cost of medical care.
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In the development process of establishing a Campus Health Resource Centre, a health needs assessment of 691 students was conducted at the University of Manitoba.
Students were surveyed by their peers to identify the health education needs of this population. The process of the health needs assessment is described and the results have formed the basis for a range of programs and services offered on campus.
Students showed interest in learning about stress management, cold and flu prevention, ergonomics and lifestyle (exercise, nutrition) issues.
Of note is low interest in topics generally thought to be important to students such as contraception, safer sex, and STD/AIDS prevention.
About one-quarter of Canadian post-secondary students smoke cigarettes. We examined how physicians from Ontario university health clinics intervene with these young adult smokers.
A convenience sample of 16 universities was identified and surveys were hand-delivered to all 228 physicians from these schools. A total of 125 doctors (54.82%) responded; 70 were from universities that were involved in a government-sponsored, coordinated, multi-campus, tobacco control initiative.
Twenty percent of doctors reported asking all or almost all patients about tobacco use; 25.22% asked fewer than half. Describing how they respond to patients identified as smokers, 96.00% of physicians advised cessation, 72.00% offered assistance, and 64.00% arranged for follow-up. Doctors discussed patients' tobacco use with 78.59% of smokers. Nicotine replacement therapies were rarely offered to patients wanting to quit. Doctors from universities involved in the tobacco control initiative were more likely to keep patient education materials in the examining room.
Because most doctors ask only some patients about tobacco use, they may be missing opportunities to provide appropriate advice and assistance to all smokers.
Physician education and support to the clinic are needed to improve the frequency and quality of physician-delivered smoking cessation services to post-secondary students.