2015, Volume 11, Issue 1

The diversity of the profiles involving the sense of positive health and survival abilities of Polish students of paramedical sciences

Barbara Bergier1

1Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biała Podlaska, Poland

Author for correspondence: Barbara Bergier; Pope John Paul II State School of Higher Education in Biała Podlaska, Poland; email: b.bergier[at]dydaktyka.pswbp.pl

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Background and Study Aim: The knowledge of subjective sense of various dimensions of own health confronted with the results of particular health indices is a preliminary condition to develop appropriate long-term strategy of health-related training for a given person, specified professional groups, social groups relatively uniform in terms of one feature or features, etc. The aim of the study is to obtain knowledge of the diversity of the profiles involving sense of positive health and survival abilities of Polish students of paramedical sciences with reference to the criterion of differentiation of comparison groups according to the intensity of weekly physical activity.
Material and methods: The study involved 183 students (114 females and 69 males) aged 18-30 years old (x ̅ 22.3±1.91) of paramedic sciences and of the last semesters of the following first degree studies: medical rescue (49.2%), nursing (28.4%), public health (22.4 %). The Sense of Positive Health an Survival Abilities questionnaire (SPHSA) was applied in the study. The profile based on the subjective sense of various positive health indices covers four dimensions: somatic (A), mental (B), social (C) and survival abilities (D). The sense of intensity of particular indices is evaluated in 1 to 5 scale (its value is as follows: 1 - very low, 2 - low, 3 - average, 4 - high, 5 - very high). The “0” index is used for evaluation of specific abilities (D dimension). The arithmetic mean of indices (after decomposition to diagnostic values) calculated for particular dimensions (from A to D) constitutes a general measure of a given health dimension and survival abilities (SPHSA index).
Results: General SPHSA index of all tested students amounts to x ̅3.72±0.43 points and is comparable to declarations of other previously tested students studying other subjects. The sense of social health is the highest x ̅ (4.20 ±0.43), whereas the sense of mental health x ̅ is the lowest (3.36 ±0.75). Significant differentiation (p<0.001) among different fields of study involves the sense of mental health of students from nursing (x ̅ 3.92±0.87) and students of medical rescue (x ̅ 2.97±0.69). No significant relationship between increased physics activity (daily) and higher sense of positive health and survival abilities was determined.
Conclusions: Large similarity of profiles and general SPHSA index of students of various paramedic sciences (with reference to comparison of both indices with previously tested students in other regions of Poland) constitutes an empirical proof that in-depth knowledge of body functioning is not a factor which modifies self-assessment about their own health and survival ability in difficult situations. It was a comparison of SPHSA profiles based on subjective evaluations with empirically diagnosed indices in the same people that can help resolve the issue of relevance of such self-assessment. Lack of significant differences may imply no merits in creating short-term individual programmes involving preliminary health-related training in order to enhance factors that increase the risk of body disintegration including death in difficult situations.

Key words: health promotion, health-related training, sphsa questionnaire