Wellbeing and smoking at Danish vocational schools: Effects of a settings-based intervention

Susan Andersen, Morten Hulvej Rod, Annette Kjær Ersbøll, Christiane Stock, Christoffer Johansen, Betina Bang Sørensen, Liselotte Ingholt, Janne Schurmann Tolstrup

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Abstract

Background
School dropout and health risk behavior represent major problems among students attending vocational education in Denmark and many other countries. Modifications to the social environment may promote educational attainment as well as the health and wellbeing of young people. However, there is a need for more evidence-based intervention programs. The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of a settings-based intervention (Shaping the Social) at vocational schools on student wellbeing and smoking.
Methods
We employed a non-randomized controlled trial of 5794 students (mean age 21 years; 81% male) in 10 (four intervention and six comparison) large vocational schools in Denmark. The intervention integrated social activities with professional learning and focused on four themes: introduction activities; daily class meetings; scheduled breaks; creating a pleasant non-smoking environment. Outcomes were student wellbeing (four subscales: student support, teacher relatedness, school connectedness, positive valuing of the profession) and daily smoking measured at 10-week follow-up. Multilevel regression analyses were conducted among the total study population and among students at risk at baseline.
Results
The school wellbeing scores were higher for intervention compared to control students, but a statistically significant effect was only found for school connectedness (β=0.22, p=0.004). The intervention had no effect on daily smoking among all students. However, among occasional smokers at baseline the intervention was associated with lower odds (OR=0.44, 95% CI=0.22-0.86) of daily smoking at follow-up.
Conclusion
Shaping the Social had positive effects on school connectedness. Moreover, the intervention was effective in preventing occasional smokers to become daily smokers. The study demonstrates that it is possible to tackle health risk behavior and school-related wellbeing in a high risk population through settings-based interventions.
Original languageDanish
Publication date16. Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 16. Oct 2015
EventEuropean Public Health Conference - Milano Congressi (MiCo), Milano, Italy
Duration: 14. Oct 201517. Oct 2015
Conference number: 8th

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Public Health Conference
Number8th
LocationMilano Congressi (MiCo)
CountryItaly
CityMilano
Period14/10/201517/10/2015

Cite this

Andersen, S., Rod, M. H., Ersbøll, A. K., Stock, C., Johansen, C., Sørensen, B. B., Ingholt, L., & Tolstrup, J. S. (2015). Wellbeing and smoking at Danish vocational schools: Effects of a settings-based intervention. Abstract from European Public Health Conference, Milano, Italy.