Barriers Hindering Nursing Students from Adopting Health-Promoting Lifestyles

Friday, 3 August 2012: 10:15 AM

Yim Wah Mak, RN, BSc, MSc, PhD1
Harn Fen Kao, RN, BA, MN2
Wing Yin Tam, RN, BSc, MPhil, MN2
Tsoi Hung Tse, RN, BSc, MN3
Wai Chun Tse, RN, BSc, MN3
(1)School of Nursing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong SAR, Hong Kong
(2)-, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
(3)-, Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital, Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify the deficiency in health-promoting lifestyles (HPL) and quality of life among nursing students.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe students are more likely to be hindered by insufficient encouragement and resources, preventing them from participating in HPL.


The present study aims to identify the patterns of the health-promoting lifestyles, quality of life and barriers from adopting the health-promoting lifestyles among nursing students in Hong Kong.

Methods: Although nursing students are expected to assume the position of health promoters after graduation, they may not be able to practice a healthy lifestyle due to a variety of barriers. Currently, there are no studies addressing these potential barriers and examining the impacts of health-promoting lifestyles on their health at a young age.

Pre-registration students who were enrolled in the full-time nursing programs between April and August 2010 were invited to complete a questionnaire that solicited information regarding their health-promoting lifestyle, quality of life and perceived barriers to adopting a health-promoting lifestyle.

Results: A total of 538 students returned completed questionnaires for analysis. Students in this study scored highest in interpersonal relations and lowest in physical activities among the health-promoting lifestyles subscales, and the vast majority of them did not actively engage in health-risk behaviors. Students also scored the lowest in the physical domain of their quality of life.  In addition, lack of encouragement and insufficient resources were identified as the most important barriers hindering them from adopting health-promoting lifestyles.

Conclusion: University nursing students are generally at the developmental stage between late adolescence and early adulthood. The findings of this study will also provide a guide to health promotion for adolescents and young adults.