2022 Volume 64 Issue 3 Pages 235-247
Background: Health checks at schools are increasingly important due to the spread of COVID-19 infections. However, although actual use of teachers' health examination results has been investigated, no studies have examined actual use by schoolchildren.
Objective: The objectives of this study were (1) to understand the actual status of health checks among schoolchildren, (2) to understand how health check results are utilized in daily life, and factors promoting their use.
Method: The survey was conducted in December 2020 in 2 public elementary schools and 3 public junior high schools with a total of 1177 participants, 353 elementary students (grades 5 and 6) and 824 junior high students (grades 1 to 3), using an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire. The content was designed with the dependent variables as four items related to health checkup use: “useful for daily life,” “considering how to spend today,” “considering future life,” and “telling family members about poor health,” and the independent variables as “benefit,” “burden,” “social support,” and “health literacy” of the health checkup, with adjustment variables designed as “grade” and “gender”. For the association analysis, we used binomial logistic regression analysis, dividing “benefit”, “burden”, “social support”, and “health literacy” into high and low groups, respectively, for the presence or absence of each item of utilization status. We received approval from the Ethical Review Committee of Tokushima University.
Results: The data used in the analysis were 778 responses excluding missing values (valid response rate: 68.9%). Utilization of the health check differed by item, with “useful for daily life” and “telling family members about poor health” having the highest rates. The utilization status was significantly higher for elementary students than for junior high students. The associations are as follows.
・Third graders in junior high were cutting down their use more than fifth graders in “Useful for daily life” and “Considering how to spend today”.
・The high-benefit group showed strong implementation in use of all 4 daily use items
・The high friend support group showed strong implementation in using “considering how to spend today,” while the high adult support group showed strong implementation in using “useful for daily life” and “telling family members about poor health.”
・In health literacy, “considering how to spend today” and “considering my future life” showed strong implementation in the high daily health care group.
Conclusion: When “benefits” in using health checks increases, the practical use of health checks is broadly related to all items, but “social support” and “health literacy” are only partially related.