HAS 914 Health Promotion

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HAS 914 Health Promotion

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HAS 914 Health Promotion

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Course Code: HAS 914
University: University Of Wollongong

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Country: Australia


Needs assessment
When planning a health promotion intervention it is critical that the needs of a community have been considered. Health promotion practitioners should conduct a health needs assessment in order to gain appropriate information prior to commencing any community intervention.
Case study
The local government area of Wollongong City is expanding. Much of this growth is linked to the University of Wollongong campus. The University is home to domestic and international students. The transition to University life can be both positive and challenging. The University has a focus on wellbeing and is requesting proposals to address this. As part of your role as health promotion practitioners you have been recruited to conduct a needs assessment of students at the University of Wollongong. In doing this you will need to gain an understanding of the Wollongong community and the student body at the University of Wollongong.
i) Discuss the types of community characteristics you need to consider to gain an understanding of the Wollongong Local Government area and the student body at the University of Wollongong. ii) Identify one primary and one secondary data source which will assist you to understand this community. Explain how these sources will help to increase your knowledge of this community .iii) Find two journal current articles (no older than 2008) where the authors have tried to understand the needs of students at University. Discuss the methods used in these articles which could be adopted to provide you with a better understanding of student needs at the University of Wollongong. Explain why they are appropriate and discuss the advantages and disadvantage of each method.

Public Health

The objective of this report is to conduct a needs assessment of students at the Wollongong University. As a result, significant information and data necessary for the study are discussed in detail, these includes different characteristics of the Wollongong community, potential sources of primary and secondary data and relevant journal articles on needs assessment.
Community Characteristics
Demographic Characteristics
The Wollongong City has a population of approximately 18,442 with 3.13 persons per hectare population density as at the year 2016 (ABS, 2016). 49.3% (9,100) of the population comprises of females whereas males represent 50.7% (9,342). The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population in Wollongong city represents 1.3% (249) of the total population. According to the 2016 population estimates of Wollongong City, the Australian citizens represent 17.1% (4,153) of the population with those aged 65 years and above representing 18.5% of the population, children of 0-14 years made up 9.0% of the population with the median age of the Wollongong people being 34 years. 9.1% (808) of Wollongong City people were unemployed, 54.1% (4,796) worked full time, and 32.2% (2,855) worked part-time.  There were 89.4% (7,734) occupied private dwellings and 10.6% (919) unoccupied dwellings.
Geographic and Physical Characteristics
Wollongong is a seaside city found in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. The city is located 82 kilometres south of Sydney on the narrow coastal strip between Illawarra escarpment and the Pacific Ocean. Wollongong is the third largest city in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle. The term “Wollongong” means “seas of the south” in the local Aboriginal dialect (Kass, 2010). The city is known for its surfing beaches and rock pools that distinguish its coastline. Mt Keira in the Illawara mountain range is mostly known for its uniqueness and its trails encircle the forests and rocky cliffs (Metusela, 2009). Other common features of the city included the Bald Hill to the north characteristic of the hang gliders launch, the Buddhist temple to the south and an extensive lagoon with boating and fishing facilities (Waitt and Gibson, 2009).
Social Characteristics
The cultural association and ethnic background of Wollongong city can best be traced using ancestry. The city of Wollongong comprises of three largest ancestries namely Irish, English and Australian. The most common ancestries according to the 2016 census are the English representing 21.7% (5,262), the Australian 17.1% (4,153) Irish 7.9% (1,920) Scottish 6.3% (1,518) and the Chinese representing 6.2% (1,512). Most of the dwellers in Wollongong city have their origin from countries in which their native language was not English. 41.8% (7,721) of the Wollongong residents had both parents born overseas, 6.3% (1,155) had fathers only born overseas, 4.5% had their mothers only born overseas, and 37.0% (6,836) had both parents born in Australia. English language was only spoken at home by 60.5% (11,164) of the population. 27.9% (2,434) households spoke non-English language. 2.3% (274) spoke Macedonian language, 1.5% (274) spoke Italian, 2.7% spoke Arabic, 1.4% (266) spoke Greek and 5.8% spoke Mandarin language. Regarding English proficiency, 6,121 people who spoke a different language apart from English were not able to fluently speak in English. The largest religious group in Wollongong city comprises of the Roman Catholic representing 19.1% (3,527), not stated 12.6% (2,332), and Macedonian orthodox 5.5% (1,014), Anglicans 10.4% (1,909), and those with no religion represented most of the population by 31.9% (5,876) (ABS, 2016).
Health Status Characteristics of Wollongong City
The health status of adults (over 16 years) measured by the degree of physical activity between 2002 and 2017 showed that there was 57% insufficient physical activity in females with men being rated at 49%. The weekly median income for people of fifteen years and above was $573, family income was $ 1,546, and household income was $1,180 (ABS, 2016).
Wollongong University has 34,144 students enrolled for various courses with 26,587 students living in Australia. There are 179 nationalities represented at the university (University of Wollongong Australia, 2018)
Sources of Data
Primary Data source
Primary data is data that is original data that is acquired by the researcher for the first time (Smith, 2015) In order to have a proper understanding of the Wollongong community, I will randomly engage few people in the community by conducting interviews with an aim of understanding the community. This will begin with meeting the local leadership to find out the history behind the city and the trends in the population increase. Additionally, I will obtain information on the general culture of the community, their dietary habits, disease incidences, and the overall socio-economic activities of the people. Primary data will enable me to obtain original and relevant information on the research topic thus increasing the degree of accuracy of my findings. The data will also provide a detailed understanding on the general attitude of the people towards health and the main factors that influence their dietary habits
Secondary Data Source
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Census of 2016 of Wollongong City will be a rich source of secondary data which will help in a proper understanding of the Wollongong community. The specific type of information or data that will be acquired from the census include the demographics of Wollongong city with respect to age, gender, Indigenous population, cultural and language diversity, employment status, and dwellings. Such a wealth of information will give me an in-depth understanding of gender population, that is, whether the male are more or less than females and the culture and language of the people. An understanding of the culture and language of the people, their status of employment and dwelling structure will be important in understanding their health status and also affect the manner of approach to studying the community. Additionally, a knowledge of gender composition will also be vital in determining the social structure of the community and its direct or indirect impact on their health (ABS, 2016).
Relevant Journal articles
Azimi (2014) conducted a study on the Needs Assessment of College students in the use of E-learning. The study aimed at assessing a variety of health behaviours and lifestyles of undergraduate students across seven universities. The study used a self-administered questionnaire to obtain socio-demographic information, nutrition, dietary and food consumption habits, significance of healthy eating, degree of physical activity, the use of illicit drugs, and the frequency of binge drinking. The researchers distributed the questionnaires to the students during the last 5 to 10 minutes after class, with each questionnaire attached with an information sheet that explained the objective of the study, its anonymity and that it was voluntary. No incentives were given to the participants.
The use of a self-administered questionnaire will be most appropriate in my study because it will enable me to obtain information from Wollongong University students that will be fundamental in my study. For instance, the self-administered questionnaire will be used to obtain student profile information such as age, gender, ethnicity, culture among others. Considering the fact that this study aims at conducting a needs assessment of the students with regard to their health, a self-administered questionnaire will be most applicable here because with it data on factors such as dietary and food consumption habits of the students, level of physical activity, use of recreational drugs, tobacco smoking, restful sleep, among others can be obtained which will be fundamental in the study.
Additionally, self-administered questionnaires will be easy to use considering the fact that the study will be conducted while the students are in session and thus the amount of time available will be limited (Rangul, Holmen, Kurtze, Cuypers, and Midthjell, 2008). The questionnaire will be attached alongside an introduction letter which will explain the objective of the study and other details about the study such as anonymity, voluntary research among others. The use of self-administered questionnaire will be less costly since no incentive will be given to the prospective participants and only printing cost will be incurred. However, a self-administered questionnaire is likely to have low response rates leading to non-response bias thus affecting the validity of the findings (De Leeuw, 2008).
Yahia,  Achkar,  Abdallah, and Rizk (2008) conducted a cross-sectional survey of 220 students from the Lebanese American University on their dietary habits and overweight. The students were randomly selected and requested to fill out a self-reported questionnaire comprising of questions regarding their nutrition, drinking and drug use habits. The questionnaire also obtained data on their body weight, height, and Body mass index (BMI). The BMI was later used to examine the weight status of the participants. The study collected data in two steps. Step one involved the filling out of the questionnaire and step two involved the measurement of their anthropometric data.
The self-reported questionnaire will be of significance in my study because it can be used to obtain data from students regarding their dietary habits and weight gain. Since the study will focus on health assessment needs of the Wollongong university students, information such as weight, height, BMI, drug use among others will equally be of significance in the study.
A self-reported questionnaire will be of a great advantage because it can be administered to a large population at minimal cost and effort. As a result, a large amount of quantitative data will be collected and thus making it possible for generalization of the findings (Scazufca, Menezes, Vallada, and Araya, 2009). However, self-reported questionnaires might lead to invalid answers due to the unwillingness of the participants to respond to sensitive questions. This will in turn affect the internal validity of the findings (Bergomi, Tschacher, and Kupper, 2013). 
Australian Bureau of Statistics. 2016. 2016 Census Quick Stats. Available from https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/SSC14358 [Accessed on 5 September, 2018]
Azimi, H.M., 2014. E-Learning Needs Assessment among Students in the Colleges of Education. Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Technology, 2(1), pp.11-22.
Bergomi, C., Tschacher, W. and Kupper, Z., 2013. The assessment of mindfulness with self-report measures: Existing scales and open issues. Mindfulness, 4(3), pp.191-202.
De Leeuw, E., 2008. Self-administered questionnaires and standardized interviews. Alasuutari, Pertti; Leonard Bickman & Julia Brannen (eds.), pp.313-327.
Kass, T., 2010. A Thematic History of the City of Wollongong. Wollongong City Council.
Metusela, C., 2009. Leisure and tourism spaces of the Illawarra beaches: 1900-1940.
Rangul, V., Holmen, T.L., Kurtze, N., Cuypers, K. and Midthjell, K., 2008. Reliability and validity of two frequently used self-administered physical activity questionnaires in adolescents. BMC medical research methodology, 8(1), p.47.
Scazufca, M., Menezes, P.R., Vallada, H. and Araya, R., 2009. Validity of the self reporting questionnaire-20 in epidemiological studies with older adults. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 44(3), p.247.
Smith, J.A. ed., 2015. Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. Sage.
University of Wollongong Australia .2018. Statistics: UOW at a Glance. Available from :https://www.uow.edu.au/about/statistics/index.html [Accessed on 5 September, 2018]
Waitt, G. and Gibson, C., 2009. Creative small cities: Rethinking the creative economy in place. Urban studies, 46(5-6), pp.1223-1246.
Yahia, N., Achkar, A., Abdallah, A. and Rizk, S., 2008. Eating habits and obesity among Lebanese university students. Nutrition journal, 7(1), p.32.

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