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Open Access Study protocol

A randomized control trial: training program of university students as health promoters

Víctor Manuel Mendoza-Núñez*, Cecilia Mecalco-Herrera, Cosme Ortega-Ávila, Laura Mecalco-Herrera, Juan Luis Soto-Espinosa and Mario Alfredo Rodríguez-León

Author affiliations

Facultad de Estudios Superiores Zaragoza, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), Guelatao # 66, Col. Ejército de Oriente, México, DF, 09230, Mexico

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Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2013, 13:162  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-162

Published: 22 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Several studies have reported the following as determining factors for the adoption of healthy lifestyles among undergraduate students: gender, socioeconomic level, prior lifestyles, environment, parental lifestyles and health status, career choice, and healthy support networks. However, these factors are influenced by students’ knowledge about healthy lifestyles.

Methods/design

We will carry out a randomized trial in a sample of 280 new undergraduate students at the National Autonomous University of Mexico’s Faculty of Higher Studies-Zaragoza (FES-Zaragoza, UNAM). There will be an experimental group (n = 140), comprising 20 students from each of the seven university departments (careers); these students will receive training as university student health promoters through an e-learning course. This course will allow the topics necessary for such promoters to be reviewed. There will be a control group (n = 140), comprising 20 students from each of the seven departments (careers); these students will not undergo the training. Later, the students who comply satisfactorily with the e-learning course will replicate the course to 10 of their classmates. A healthy-lifestyle questionnaire will be given to all the participants, and the parameters established in the self-care card will be recorded before and after the training. The study variables are as follows: (i) independent variable—compliance with the e-learning course; (ii) dependent variables—lifestyles changes prior to the educative intervention (including healthy eating, physical activity, and addiction prevention) and parameters related to health status established in self-care (including weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and hip circumference). Data will be analyzed using Student’s t test and logistic regression analysis odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals. The analysis of the open answers will be carried out with ATLAS. ti 5.5 software.

Discussion

Health promotion among university students should incorporate options that are feasible for and attractive to students. Thus, as proposed in the present protocol, e-learning courses offer excellent possibilities because they allow students to program their learning in their available time without affecting their academic studies.

Trial registration

http://ISRCTN77787889 webcite

Keywords:
University health promoter; University student health promoter; Self-care; Health promotion