Comprehensive school health, the social determinants of health, and the health status of children
KeywordHealth education (Elementary)
Physical education for children.
School health services
Obesity in children
Physical fitness for children
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AbstractAs children are becoming increasingly inactive and obese, there is an urgent need for effective early prevention and intervention programs. One solution is a comprehensive school health (CSH) program, a health promotion initiative aimed at educating students about healthy behaviours and lifestyles, which also provides a link between the school, students, families, and the surrounding community. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between different components of CSH programs, as well as three determinants of health (gender, social support, socio-economic status), and physical activity, on the aerobic fitness and body mass index (BMI) of children. A newly developed and pilot-tested survey derived from Health Canada's fourpart CSH model (instruction, social support, support services, and a healthy physical environment) was sent to elementary school principals. Data on the gender, physical activity, parental education, and social support levels of students from these schools were gathered from a previous study. Multiple regression procedures were conducted to estimate the relationships between CSH components, the social determinants of health, physical activity, and BMI and aerobic fitness. Results showed that three CSH components were significantly associated with both BMI and aerobic fitness values in children, but accounted for less than 5% of the variance in both variables. Physical activity partially mediated the relationship between the significant CSH components, BMI, and particularly aerobic fitness. Furthermore, the social determinant and physical activity variables played independent roles in aerobic fitness values. No moderating effects of the social determinants were discovered.
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Self-reported health status and lifestyle behaviours of the residents of the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario, as related to the Canadian Community Health SurveyMorris-Tries, Deanna Elizabeth.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2004-07-14)The purpose of this cross sectional survey design was to examine self-reported health status and lifestyle behaviours of the residents of the Town of Fort Erie, Ontario, as related to the Canadian Community Health Survey. Using a mail-out survey, entitled the Fort Erie Survey of Health (FESH), a probability cluster sampling technique was used to measure self-reported health status (present health, health conditions, health challenges, functional health limitations) and lifestyle behaviour (smoking, alcohol use, drug use, physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, body weight, and gaming). Each variable was described and analyzed in relation to socio-economic variables, age and gender. The findings from this study were compared to the Canadian Community Health Survey 2000/2001. Overall, 640 surveys were completed. The majority of Fort Erie residents rated their present health as good and were satisfied with their overall health and quality of life. The main chronic conditions reported were arthritis, back pain and heart disease. Other main health problems reported were vision, sleeping and chronic pain. Overall, 14.6% smoke; 58.8% engaged in physical activity either occasionally or never as opposed to regularly engaging in physical activity; 52.1% did not eat the required daily fruits and vegetables; and 40.0% were in the overweight category. Persons who practiced one healthy lifestyle behaviour were more likely to practice other healthy promoting behaviours. Therefore, health promotion programs are best designed to address multiple risk factors simultaneously. The ffiSH was generally consistent with the Canadian Community Health Survey in the overall findings. A small number of inconsistencies were identified that require further exploration to determine if they are unique to this community.
Comprehensive school health : an ethnographic case studyCostas-Bradstreet, Christa.; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2009-01-28)The purpose of this ethnographic case study was to describe the characteristics of one school's Comprehensive School Health (CSH) initiative and to explore the experiences of school community members in order to gain an understanding of how one school embraced a Comprehensive School Health approach. An elementary school (grades Junior Kindergarten to six) in Burlington, Ontario was the research site for this study. Multiple methods of data collection (observations, document analysis, interviews) were used in keeping with the ethnographic and case study approach. The data were coded using both a deductive and then inductive process (Merriam, 1998). From a deductive perspective, the coding system and the subsequent identification of categories were based on a priori categories identified by using the elements of CSH based on the Comprehensive School Health Consensus Statement prepared by the Canadian Association of School Health and the research questions. Findings included the role that various school community members as well as the implementation of different programs and policies played in applying a CSH approach. The impact ofthe physical environment was described as well as successes and challenges related to the school's experience in implementing CSH. Three main themes emerged that characterized this school's experience. The first theme relates to the fundamental question about CSH which is the school community's understanding o/the concept. The second theme focused on positive school culture and the third and most diverse theme was that of capacity. Engaging in CSH is a complex and long-term undertaking involving both the school and greater community. Based on the experiences of this school's community members, recommendations address the different levels of influence on the health of children.
“Weathering a Hidden Storm”: An Application of Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health, and Health Services Use for Those with Diagnosable Anxiety DisorderKovacs, Sandy Lee; Applied Health Sciences Program (Brock University, 2011-06-27)Abstract: Research has primarily focused on depression and mood disorders, but little research has been devoted to an examination of mental health services use amongst those with diagnosable anxiety disorder (Wittchen et al., 2002; Bergeron et al., 2005). This study examined the possible predicting factors for mental health services utilization amongst those with identifiable anxiety disorder in the Canadian population. The methods used for this study was the application of Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Services Use, where predisposing, need and enabling characteristics were regressed on the dependent variable of mental health services use. This study used the Canadian Community Health Survey (cycle 1.2: Mental Health and Well-Being) in a secondary data analysis. Several multiple logistics models predicted the likelihood to seek and use mental health services. Predisposing characteristics of gender and age, Enabling characteristics of education and geographical location, and those with co-occurring mood disorders were at the greatest increased likelihood to seek and use mental health services.