Do Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Students Intend to Change Their Health Risk Behaviours?

Prince Atorkey, Flora Tzelepis, Christine Paul, Billie Bonevski, John Wiggers, Emma Byrnes, Aimee Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Background: A high proportion of vocational education students engage in multiple health risk behaviours. Changing a single health risk behaviour reduces chronic disease burden but the benefits are amplified when multiple health risk behaviours are changed.
Aims: The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of health risk behaviours amongst vocational education students and to examine their intentions to change their health-risk behaviours.
Methods: Students from six TAFE campuses were surveyed in class via a computer tablet. The survey asked about the behaviours for which participants did not meet Australian health guidelines and about their intentions to change those health risk behaviours.
Results: To date, 545 participants have completed the survey. The majority were men and the average age is 23.5 years. The prevalence for smoking (37%), inadequate fruit intake (44.4%), inadequate vegetable intake (90.1%), risky alcohol consumption (62.3%) and physical inactivity (28.4%) were high. Participants were significantly least likely to report that they intended to reduce their alcohol consumption (13.8%) in the next 6 months and most likely to report that they intended to increase their physical activity (54.4%).
Conclusion: There are high rates of health risk behaviours in TAFE students, the design of interventions should take into account those behaviours they wish to change and how to motivate them to consider changing behaviours, they have less interest in modifying.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26
Number of pages1
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology
Issue numberS7
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Students
  • disease burden
  • Health behaviours


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