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Factors that influence health service utilization for emotional or mental health reasons among university students



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The purpose of this study was to determine the factors that influence university students’ use of health services for mental or emotional reasons. Currently accepted models of health service use may not apply to university students due to their unique socio-demographic characteristics and health challenges. The Andersen and Newman model of health service utilization was used as a conceptual framework. The first hypothesis was that many factors that influence use of services in the general population would also apply to the university student population. The second hypothesis was that some student-specific factors would also influence health service utilization for mental or emotional reasons. Data for this study was collected in a survey designed for a larger health needs assessment of University of Saskatchewan undergraduate students. The dependant variable was the use of services for mental or emotional reasons within the past year. Information was also collected for 26 independent variables. A logistic regression was used to determine which of these were related to the dependant variable. The final model of health service utilization for mental/emotional reasons among university students included six independent variables: 1) perceived need for professional help (for emotional problems), 2) previous depression diagnosis, 3) past/present suicide ideation, 4) sexual assault victimization, 5) presence of a family doctor, and 6) gender.The results of this study indicate that many of the factors that influence service use for mental/emotional reasons in the student population are the same as those that exist in the general population. The results also suggest that student-specific factors, such as college, years in university, or academic performance do not influence health service use for mental/emotional reasons. Implications of these findings are discussed.



college students, models of health service utilization, health service use



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Community Health and Epidemiology


Community Health and Epidemiology


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