Effects of a healthy lifestyle and behavior-related knowledge intervention on college students in Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province

Weidong Liu, Lu Wang, Rong Jiang, Lina Wang, Wanhong Zhang, Fang Dai, Hui Xu, Xingjian Huang, Ting Zhang, Bing Liu


Background: This study aimed to evaluate the effect of a health education intervention on healthy lifestyle and behavior-related knowledge among college students.
Methods: We used an epidemiological experimental research design and multistage random cluster sampling. The health education intervention was conducted in the intervention group for two semesters. The pass rates on the healthy lifestyle and behavior knowledge questionnaire before and after the intervention were compared and analyzed using the chi-square test and logistic regression.
Results: The pass rate significantly increased by 11% in the intervention group, compared to 4.7% in the control group. Single factor analysis showed that pass rates increased in 7 subgroups of the intervention group but not in those of the control group. Pass rates experienced an upward trend in 8 subgroups of both the intervention and control groups. However, the pass rates did not improve in only one subgroup (i.e., ethnic minorities) of either the intervention or control group. Multiple regression analysis showed that in the intervention group, urban residence [odds ratio (OR), 1.394; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 1.205–1.612], female sex (1.486; 1.292–1.708), having low-educated parents (1.682; 1.061–2.666), having high-educated parents (1.627; 1.024–2.585), belonging to the Han ethnic group (2.142; 1.317–3.484), and having a household income of ≥7,000 yuan (1.246; 1.105–1.405) were positively associated with higher pass rates. In the control group, the pass rate among sophomores was 1.291 (1.152–1.447) times higher than that among freshmen. Students from the Han ethnic group had a higher pass rate than those from ethnic minorities (1.291; 1.152–1.447). In the intervention group, the pass rate was 1.587 (1.410–1.786) times in the end-line survey than in the baseline survey.
Conclusions: Health education intervention can improve the pass rate on healthy lifestyle and behavior questionnaires among college students. College students can actively improve their lifestyles and behaviors using the existing health information and health education methods.