Prevention of unhealthy behaviour by youth health care in The Netherlands

P.A. Wiegersma, A. Hofman, G.A. Zielhuis

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7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background In this study the effect is assessed of (repeated) well-care visits and freely accessible consultation hours at secondary schools on the prevalence of adolescent health-compromising behaviour and later obesity.

Methods An ecological case-referent study design was used with data from the Netherlands Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Defence, the 1992 High-School Student Study, all youth health care departments in The Netherlands and relevant census. Data from the High-School Student Study included 4569 students aged 12-18 years, of whom 4167 had answered all questions on health-compromising behaviour and eating habits. The data from the Ministry of Defence included 1004 cases with a body mass index greater than 27 of a total of 12 251 male conscripts. The census of 18- and 19-year-old males in the regions of the relevant youth health care departments served as referents.

Results Except for the use of alcohol, the effect of more well-care visits was in all cases negative, and for the use of tobacco even significantly so [odds ratio (OR) = 1.15, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI) = 1.01 - 1.33]. The availability of open consultation hours had an adverse effect on use of alcohol (OR = 1.29, 95 per cent CI = 1.11 - 1.50). The OR for obesity in male conscripts showed an adverse effect of a greater number of well-care visits (OR = 2.46, 95 per cent CI = 1.74 - 3.46) and the availability of open consultation hours (OR = 1.97, 95 per cent CI = 1.72 - 2.25).

Conclusions This study does not support the hypothesis that, at a population level, preventive activities of youth health care departments such as (more) frequent well-care visits or offering open consultation hours at secondary schools, have a beneficial effect on prevention of health-compromising behaviour or obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)386-392
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of public health medicine
Volume22
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2000

Keywords

  • prevention
  • health-compromising behaviour
  • obesity
  • youth health care
  • SELECTIVE MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS
  • ADOLESCENT SUBSTANCE USE
  • ALCOHOL-CONSUMPTION
  • PROTECTIVE FACTORS
  • BODY FATNESS
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • SCHOOL
  • CHILDREN
  • FAMILY
  • SMOKING

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