Osteoporosis knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors of college students: utilization of the Health Belief Model

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University of Alabama Libraries

The purpose of this study is to determine the level of osteoporosis knowledge, beliefs and behavior among college students. In addition, this study will examine perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, barriers and self-efficacy related to osteoporosis prevention. Women and men of all ethnicities at the University of Central Arkansas were asked to participate in the study. The Osteoporosis Knowledge Test, Osteoporosis Health Belief Scale, Osteoporosis Self-Efficacy Scale, and Osteoporosis Preventing Behaviors Survey were utilized. Correlations were used to determine the degree of relationship between variables. After determining which independent variables were significant, a multiple regression was completed to determine prediction. Participants did not perceive themselves as susceptible to osteoporosis and perceived minimal barriers to physical activity and calcium intake. Their knowledge was minimal concerning alternate sources of calcium and less traditional forms of physical activity. Physical activity was correlated with perceived barriers, health motivation, and calcium intake. Calcium intake was correlated with perceived barriers, health motivation, and knowledge. Prevention programs should aim to increase osteoporosis knowledge of risk factors and preventing behaviors and to decrease high risk factor behaviors in adolescence when bone health can be increased. Health professionals can attempt to decrease perceived barriers to physical activity in college age individuals by providing comprehensive programs based on supported factors shown to influence behavior, including social support and self-efficacy.

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Health Sciences, Education, Health Sciences, General