Health survey available online

Pratik Patel, Staff Writer
February 28, 2012
Filed under News

Dr. Karen Thompson, assistant professor of nursing, has released this year’s FMU Student Health Survey that students can fill out on SurveyMonkey.

The survey includes questions about basic demographics, alcohol use, drug use, emotional and mental health issues, relationships, sexual activity, and performance in school.

Thompson noted that the survey is only for data-gathering purposes.

“It’s totally confidential,” Thompson said. “I have no interest in who they are, and there should be no sharing of that information. I’m not doing an intervention; I’m just gathering information.”

Thompson, also a practicing nurse, said that she is interested in learning about the sexual activities and practices of students who attend FMU.

“My other project was to bring emergency contraception to the campus,” Thompson said. “We have our share of unintended pregnancies on this campus, between 3 and 4 percent, which is on par with other campuses.”

Thompson said that her services were once limited to writing prescriptions, which students would have to take to the drug store. Since the program has started, Thompson said that health services provides emergency contraception to a student almost every day.

Thompson said that pregnancies are not the only concern, and that sexually transmitted diseases are also of significance.

“It’s not just pregnancy we worry about,” Thompson said. “There’s a problem of sexually transmitted infections on campus. Of the students who were tested for STIs, 20 percent came back positive for gonorrhea and chlamydia.”

Last year’s survey was conducted to get a general idea of who FMU students are; however, only a handful of students participated in taking the survey.

“Only 4 percent (175 students) of the campus population took it, which doesn’t really give you a good idea of everything,” Thompson said.

Thompson explained that the data gathered from survey is not just for health services, and other departments in the university will have access to the data.

“These findings are not our data,” Thompson said. “Anybody on campus who needs them should have it.”

The survey also examines students’ nutrition, activity, and time spent on the Internet and social media networks.

The data gathered from the survey will allow student affairs to write for grants to create or extend certain programs and services for FMU students.

Thompson said the participation of the majority of the students in the survey is necessary for the data to truly represent the population of the student body.

Thompson said that the survey should not take more than 15 minutes of a student’s time.

The FMU Student Health Survey will be open to all students until March 30 and can be found at http://www. surveymonkey.com/s/36F7WZL.

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