Health promotion in university: what do students want?

Cathy Dunne (Lecturer of Psychology at the Department of Health and Social Care, Norton Radstock College, Bath, UK. E‐mail:
Maggie Somerset (Course Director of Post‐graduate Health at the Bath Spa University College, Bath, UK)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Publication date: 1 December 2004


This qualitative research was designed to investigate students' health needs and their views on health promotion in a University. A total of 31 students participated in focus group discussions. Inductive analysis revealed two central themes: student health concerns and health promotion in a University setting. The former included issues associated with adjustment to life at University, health‐related lifestyle behaviours and provision of support services. The key areas highlighted for health promotion were alcohol and drug use, healthy eating and mental health. Participants' views on health promotion centred on the use of campaigns, which were felt to be a proactive and suitable means of targeting students with health messages; however, numerous recommendations to improve their efficacy emerged. Additional interventions to complement rather than replace campaigns were considered appropriate. By identifying the health concerns of students, this research has highlighted the areas on which future health promotion activity should focus and has suggested methods by which it could be delivered.



Dunne, C. and Somerset, M. (2004), "Health promotion in university: what do students want?", Health Education, Vol. 104 No. 6, pp. 360-370.

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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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