FSD2326 University Student Health Survey 2004

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  • Kunttu, Kristina (Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS))
  • Huttunen, Teppo (Oy 4Pharma Ltd)


accidents, alcohol use, dental health, diet and exercise, drinking behaviour, drug use, economic conditions, food and nutrition, health, health services, health status, interpersonal relations, lifestyle and health, living conditions, mental health, physical activities, sexual health, smoking, students (college), symptoms, tutoring, undergraduates


The health survey of university students charted the respondents' health and factors influencing their health. Main topics covered the respondents' general state of health, health behaviour, studying, relationships, working and living, use of health services, and sexual health.

Questions covered general state of health, possible illnesses and injuries, use of medication, contraception, dieting and slimming, and amount of sleep. The respondents were also asked whether they had any physical or mental symptoms, including areas such as sexual health, eating disorders and dental hygiene. A symptom index was formed based on the responses. Men's and women's diseases were canvassed separately. In addition, mental health was investigated with the help of GHQ12 (General Health Questionnaire) and a screen test created by psychologist Salli Saari. The screen test focused on the respondents' relationships to their parents and friends, their sexuality, strengths, and skills.

Health behaviour was examined with questions pertaining to dental hygiene, physical exercise, nutrition, smoking, drug and alcohol use, and accidents. The respondents were asked about their personal dental hygiene (e.g. use of toothpaste). They were also asked how often they exercised and why, and who organised the exercise. Nutritional habits were investigated with questions about the respondents' consumption of dairy and grain products, fruits, berries, vegetables, and sugary and fatty products. In addition, the respondents were also asked whether they were on a special diet. In relation to alcohol use, the respondents were asked how much and how often they drank alcohol, to what extent peer pressure influenced their alcohol use, and whether drinking had ever caused them problems. The questionnaire included an AUDIT-test (Alcohol Disorders Test). In relation to drug use, the respondents indicated whether they had used various drugs or medicine for recreational purposes. Accidents and road safety were charted by asking them whether they used seat belt or bike helmet. They were also asked questions about smoking and snuffing. Attitudes to health issues were charted by asking whether there should be legislation regulating smoking in public places, alcohol selling in retail shops, or cannabis use.

With regard to studies, the respondents assessed whether their area of study was right for them, when they were going to graduate, whether they had succeeded in their studies, who had given them study guidance, and how satisfied they had been with the guidance. Views on difficulties related to studies were also probed. Relationships were charted by questions on living circumstances, number of children, size of circle of acquaintances, and level of social interaction. The respondents' financial circumstances and participation in paid employment were also studied.

Further questions examined the respondents' use of health services. Visits to student, occupational, military, public or private health service units were studied, and the respondents evaluated the quality of service and care they had received at the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS). Reasons for using other services than those provided by the FSHS were also queried. Need for the help of health services in certain issues (e.g. stress management, nutrition, exercise, quitting smoking, relationships, self-esteem) was charted.

Finally, the respondents were presented with a set of questions on sexual health. Questions probed the frequency of sexual intercourse, potential problems with condom use, and whether the respondents had had chlamydia. The female respondents were also asked questions on emergency contraception and whether they had had an abortion.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, mother tongue, location of university, area of study, and whether R had given feedback to the FSHS at the end of the questionnaire.

The study was funded by the research and development fund of the Finnish Student Health Service.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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