Objective: Final year undergraduate students, undertaking a health promotion module, were asked to reflect on their experiences of contributing to the strategic development of a health promoting university. As part of this module students were engaged in carrying out a health needs assessment (HNA) in order to inform the development of a health promoting university and enhance the curriculum. Design: This case study was conducted with forty students, and used un-moderated focus groups (n = 9) where students recorded their experiences of carrying out a HNA. Results: Key findings of the students’ reflections (rather than of the health needs assessment) are presented in this paper. Students reported that by carrying out a HNA they: developed an understanding of the links between theory and practice; developed communication and networking skills; found the assessment meaningful; welcomed the opportunity to make a difference; could identify improvements that could have been made, along with challenges to carrying out their work and health gains. Conclusion: This study has shown how the student learning experience has been enhanced, whilst at the same time the university (and potentially the wider community) will potentially benefit from the HNA that was carried out. Ultimately, the students were able to ‘reach the parts that other researchers can’t reach’, i.e. explore complex issues amongst their fellow peers.
|Journal||International Journal of Health Promotion & Education|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|