Campus Health Promotion Planning Using the National College Health Assessment (NCHA): Is There Value Added When Assessing Readiness to Change?

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College students frequently engage in multiple health risk and health promotion behaviors simultaneously. The National College Health Assessment (NCHA) is used by college health educators for health program planning. The NCHA determines the prevalence of health risk behaviors, but it does not account for students’ readiness to change. Consequently, it may not be the best planning tool in its current form to help health educators prioritize intervention programs for target populations when multiple risk behaviors are involved. This study explored the usefulness of the Transtheoretical Model in enhancing health program planning using the NCHA. Readiness to change two health risk and two health promotion behaviors was assessed. Students (n=218) ages 18 and above completed a self-administered survey via Qualtrics. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate statistics were computed to produce study results. Vehicle safety results indicated that seat-belt use was significantly lower for student passengers in motorized vehicles compared to drivers (65% = passengers vs. 97% = drivers). Alcohol safety results revealed that males were two times less likely to have intentions to quit binge drinking than females (51% = females vs. 23% = males). Slightly more than one-third of students reported consistently using condoms when having vaginal sex. Nearly half of students (47%) were not participating in recommended levels of physical activity. Multinomial logistic regression results indicated that interventions targeting these behaviors should be tailored to gender, race, and relationship status. The results suggest that complimentary planning information is added when readiness to change measures are included with the NCHA.


American Public Health Association Annual Meeting (APHA)


Atlanta, GA