Students at ABAC may have noticed emails regularly coming in, reminding them that they have been selected to participate in the National College Health Assessment. Conducted by the American College Health Association (ACHA), the study has been completely re-written since last year. But what did last year’s study find?
There is too much in the study to summarize in one article, as it covered a broad array of topics. The study was broken into spring and fall surveys and had wide participation: 80 institutions total participating in the fall portion and 280 in the spring portion.
According to the study, the five highest-ranked general health conditions were allergies, sinus infections, back pain, strep throat and urinary tract infections. The highest percent of vaccination rates were for measles/mumps/rubella, hepatitis B, meningococcal meningitis, chickenpox and human papillomavirus. The most common conditions that impacted academic performance were stress, anxiety, sleep difficulties, depression and cold/flu/sore throat.
When averaging the spring and fall 2018 surveys together, 33.55 percent of total students had no sexual partners in the last 12 months; 42.9 percent had one partner in the last 12 months; 9.05 percent had two in the last 12 months; 5.25 percent had three in the last 12 months; and 9.15 percent had four or more.
ABAC Health Center Coordinator Carmen Counts gave her thoughts on some of the statistics reported. In regards to the general health concerns, she said, “I think we’re about on course for that … back pain, not so much, but the other four, yes, definitely.”
She also spoke on monitoring vaccinations. “We do monitor the immunizations for any student that’s coming in. It’s required by the state of Georgia for you to have an MMR and the varicella. So both of those have a pretty high compliance rate. I would say maybe less than five percent of our student population aren’t vaccinated against that. Hep B is also a requirement.”
The ABAC Health Clinic also recently finished free STD testing earlier this month. “When I first started at ABAC three years ago, each time that we did a bunch of testing, as a group of testing, the positivity rate was around 20 percent,” Counts said. “Since we started doing free testing monthly, which we started that in the 2018-2019 school year, our positivity rate has gone down to 10 percent.”
But what did ABAC students think the most common health issues on campus were? Erin Ricks said, “Obesity. Since obesity is a problem anyway.” Tutor Alex Johnson said, “Alcohol, or food choices and obesity.” And Sarah Bostic guessed, “I would say unprotected sex.”
This new survey is so different from the 2018 survey that, according to the ACHA, it will not be comparable. For more information, contact Corey Langston at firstname.lastname@example.org.