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Health-promoting factors in higher education for a sustainable working life - protocol for a multicenter longitudinal study

Journal article
Authors U. Lindmark
I. Ahlstrand
A. Ekman
L. Heden
J. Kallstrand
M. Larsson
H. Nunstedt
Lena Oxelmark
S. Pennbrant
A. Sundler
I. Larsson
Published in Bmc Public Health
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 8
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Health and Care Sciences
Pages 8
Language en
Keywords Health promotion, Salutogenesis, Students' health, Sustainable working, life, trait emotional intelligence, workplace health, occupational balance, salutogenic model, antonovskys sense, quality analysis, coherence scale, perceptions, performance, nurses, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Subject categories Environmental Health and Occupational Health


Background The World Health Organization has highlighted the importance of health promotion for health service providers in order to ensure sustainable working life for individuals involved in providing health services. Such sustainability begins when students are preparing to manage their own future health and welfare in working life. It has been suggested that universities, employees and trainee health professionals should adopt or follow a salutogenic approach that not only complements the providing of information on known health risks but also favors health promotion strategies. This paper describes the study design and data collection methods in a planned study aiming to explore health-promoting factors for a sustainable working life among students in higher education within healthcare and social work. Methods This protocol describes a multicenter longitudinal study involving Swedish students on higher education programs in the healthcare and social work sectors. In 2018, the study invited students on seven education programs at six universities to participate. These programs were for qualification as: biomedical laboratory scientists (n = 121); dental hygienists (n = 87); nurses (n = 1411); occupational therapists (n = 111); physiotherapists (n = 48); radiographers (n = 60); and, social workers (n = 443). In total, 2283 students were invited to participate. Participants completed a baseline, a self-reported questionnaire including six validated instruments measuring health-promoting factors and processes. There are to be five follow-up questionnaires. Three while the students are studying, one a year after graduating, and one three years after graduating. Each questionnaire captures different health-promoting dimensions, namely: health-promoting resources (i.e. sense of coherence); occupational balance; emotional intelligence; health and welfare; social interaction; and work and workplace experiences/perceptions. Discussion This study focuses on the vastly important aspect of promoting a sustainable working life for healthcare and social work employees. In contrast to previous studies in this area, the present study uses different, validated instruments in health promotion, taking a salutogenic approach. It is hoped that, by stimulating the implementation of new strategies, the study's findings will lead to education programs that prepare students better for a sustainable working life in healthcare and social work.

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