Health> Vol.5 No.7D, July 2013

Health related quality of life of university students in Lebanon: Lifestyles behaviors and socio-demographic predictors

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ABSTRACT

Measuring and monitoring health related quality of life (HRQoL) in youth are important for both researchers and decision makers. During the time that young people are at university, many will encounter a number of academic, as well as social, emotional and psychological difficulties. The aims of this study are to: 1) assess the health related quality of life of youths using SF-36 questionnaire and its factor determinants, and 2) provide an objective basis for a health promotion structure. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study in South Lebanon, in a population of 282 young university students attending a public university which is the largest and most widespread institution of higher education in Lebanon. Socioeconomic and lifestyle behaviors data were collected. Students’ HRQoL was measured using the SF-36 Health Survey. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 18.7 years (SD = 1.16), 80.1% were women, 64.5% were living in rural area. The proportion of current smokers was significantly greater among men than women (26.8% vs. 11.5%, p < 0.01). Water pipe was the main type of smoking. Education of the fathers had negatively influenced HRQoL. Younger age scored higher in Social Functioning and Role-Emotional; the area of residence had no influences on SF-36 scales scores. Females had poorer HRQoL than males especially in mental health scales. Smokers had low Vitality and Mental Health scores. Sedentary lifestyle was linked to a lower score of Physical Functioning (β = -5.16, 95% CI = -7.67 -2.65), and Vitality ( β= -5.85, 95% CI = -10.24 -1.45). The HRQoL of the students studying business and economics was higher than those studying health. Conclusion: Youths’ HRQoL is affected by socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics. Effective health-promoting actions, social support, and counseling services should be implemented in the campus and are a necessary step towards the main goal of improving the overall HRQoL of the university young students in Lebanon.

Cite this paper

Sabbah, I. , Sabbah, H. , Khamis, R. , Sabbah, S. and Droubi, N. (2013) Health related quality of life of university students in Lebanon: Lifestyles behaviors and socio-demographic predictors. Health, 5, 1-12. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.57A4001.

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