Physical and Psychological Well-being of University Students: Survey of Eleven Faculties in Egypt

Department of Sport and Exercise, Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucester, United Kingdom.
International journal of preventive medicine 03/2013; 4(3):293-310.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We examined perceived health status and physical and psychological well-being of 3,271 undergraduate students attending eleven faculties in a university in Egypt.
During 2009-2010, participants completed a self-administered questionnaire that gathered socio-demographic, physical and psychological health data. Body mass index (BMI) was calculated from students' measured height and weight. Differences across these variables were computed by gender and participating faculties.
Whilst more females watched and rated their health favorably, they were more likely to feel psychosomatic/physical health problems, to have seen a medical practitioner or been ill that they had to stay in bed. Females were consistently more likely to feel burdened overall, and across several aspects apart from financial problems. Less females had 'normal' BMI, were satisfied with current weight, perceived their body image as 'just right', or were not worried about their shape. More males rated their quality of life favorably. About 25% of males and 32% of females were either overweight/obese. Exams, presentations, and the lack of time for studies were the frequently-reported burdens. Comparisons of health/well-being indicators across the participating faculties suggested some evidence of 'clustering': Favorable indicators would cluster at some faculties; and conversely, less favorable variables would cluster at other faculties.
Generally, the levels of some health complaints and psychological problems/burdens are higher than in other countries. Increased vigilance of university administrators and leaders to monitoring the health and well-being of their students, as well as their health needs is required if policy makers are to operate from a valid evidence base platform. Given cultural factors prevalent in the Eastern Mediterranean region generally, female students might require particular attention. The clustering effects suggest the need for local (faculty-specific) health and well-being profiles as basis and guidance for relevant health promotion programs in faculty/university settings.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We examined the associations between depressive symptoms and four indicators of alcohol consumption (high frequency of drinking, frequency of heavy episodic drinking, problem drinking, and possible alcohol dependence). We also explored whether personal importance of religious faith as well as healthy lifestyle had any modifying roles in these relationships. During 2007-2008, 3,220 students at seven UK universities completed a questionnaire containing questions on CAGE, frequency alcohol use, heavy episodic drinking, modified Beck-Depression Inventory, physical activity and sleep, and importance of religious faith. Multivariate logistic regressions were performed separately for four alcohol consumption indicators, stratified by gender. Controlling for demographic variables, depressive symptoms were positively associated with problem drinking and possible alcohol dependence for both genders. Religiosity was negatively associated with frequency of drinking and heavy episodic drinking among both genders, while healthy lifestyle was not associated with any of the four measures of alcohol consumption among both genders. No evidence suggested that either religiosity or healthy lifestyle modified the relationships between depressive symptoms and any of the four measures of alcohol consumption. This study shows a link between hazardous drinking and mental ill health and suggests religiosity as a protective factor for high alcohol consumption. Promotion of students' mental and spiritual health could have a preventive role in hazardous drinking at universities.
    Substance Use &amp Misuse 09/2013; DOI:10.3109/10826084.2013.824476 · 1.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This study assessed the prevalence of six alcohol consumption indicators in a sample of university students. We also examined whether students' sociodemographic and educational characteristics were associated with any of the six alcohol consumption indicators; and whether associations between students' sociodemographic and educational characteristics and the six alcohol consumption indicators differed by gender. A cross-sectional study of 3706 students enrolled at 7 universities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. A self-administered questionnaire assessed six alcohol consumption measures: length of time of last (most recent) drinking occasion; amount consumed during last drinking occasion; frequency of alcohol consumption; heavy episodic drinking (>= 5 drinks in a row); problem drinking; and possible alcohol dependence as measured by CAGE. The questionnaire also collected information on seven relevant student sociodemographic characteristics (age, gender, academic year of study, current living circumstances - accommodation with parents, whether student was in intimate relationship, socioeconomic status of parents - parental education, income sufficiency) and two academic achievement variables (importance of achieving good grades at university, and one's academic performance in comparison with one's peers). The majority of students (65% of females, 76% of males) reported heavy episodic drinking at least once within the last 2 weeks, and problem drinking was prevalent in 20% of females and 29% of males. Factors consistently positively associated with all six indicators of alcohol consumption were male gender and perceived insufficient income. Other factors such as living away from home, being in 1st or 2nd year of studies, having no intimate partner, and lower academic achievement were associated with some, but not all indicators of alcohol consumption. The high level of alcohol consumption calls for regular/ periodic monitoring of student use of alcohol, and for urgent preventive actions and intervention programmes at the universities in the UK.
    Archives of Public Health 11/2013; 71(1):29. DOI:10.1186/2049-3258-71-29
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: There is a lack of research on Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) use in the Eastern Mediterranean region (EMR). We assessed four ATOD behaviors (risk factors; smoking, alcohol consumption behavior, one’s own illicit drug/s use, friend’s illicit drug/s use), two mental health indicators (depressive symptoms, perceived stress), two socio-demographic features (gender, age) and two policy variables (agree with smoking and alcohol bans at university). A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 3258 students at 11 faculties of Assiut University in Egypt (2009–2010). As for ATOD individual risk factors, about 8.8% of the participants smoked cigarettes (occasionally or daily), 3.8% reported “high frequency” alcohol use (a few times each week, every day and a few times each day), 4.5% had ever used illicit drugs, and 15.3% had a friend who used illicit drug/s. For ATOD multiple risk factors, 28.5% of the sample reported any ATOD risk factor, and 8.7% of the sample reported ≥2 risk factors, and the frequencies were significantly higher among males. Depressive symptoms were positively associated with illicit drug/s use and with having a friend/s who use illicit drug/s. Smoking was positively associated with one’s illicit drug/s use, but negatively associated with having a friend who use illicit drug/s. Higher frequency of alcohol use was positively associated with illicit drug/s use. Age and perceived stress were not associated with any of ATOD variables. These findings contribute to lack of research on ATOD use across the EMR, and provide a platform for planning prevention/intervention policies.
    Journal of Substance Use 06/2014; DOI:10.3109/14659891.2014.923533 · 0.48 Impact Factor