The association between medical students' lifestyles and their attitudes towards preventive counseling in different countries
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Background: Preventive counselling is an effective approach to reducing the prevalence of non-communicable diseases. Studies have shown that there is a positive association between healthy behaviors of Colombian medical students and favorable attitudes towards preventive counselling. However, there is limited research that explores this relationship in different countries. The current study aimed to determine how the health behaviors of medical students from China, U.S., and Australia, are associated with attitudes towards preventive counseling. Methods: Students from five Chinese medical schools, Duke University in the U.S., and the University of Queensland in Australia, completed a 32-item, self-reported online survey. The survey was used to examine the prevalence of healthy behaviors and their association with attitudes towards preventive counseling. The target sample size was 150 students from each grade, or 450 students in total from different medical universities. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess the association between health behaviors and attitudes towards preventive counseling, stratified by grade and adjusted by gender. Results: A positive association was found between healthy behaviors and attitudes towards preventive counseling for all medical students. There are significant differences among medical students’ self-reported health behaviors and their attitudes towards preventive counselling from three different countries (P < 0.05). Chinese medical students were more positive in stress control (OR > 1) and more passive in limiting their smoking and alcohol behaviors compared to medical students in Duke University. However, compared to medical students in University of Queensland, five Chinese medical students were more passive in stress control (OR < 1). Conclusion: Based on the finding that healthy behaviors are positively related to favorable attitudes towards preventative counselling, medical students should adopt targeted courses and training in preventive counseling and develop healthy lifestyles.
BMC Public Health
© 2015 Yu et al. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http:// creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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