Measurement and comparison of health knowledge of students majoring in biology and health science

A review of relevant literature revealed that few studies had been carried on at the college level to measure the health knowledge of students with different academic majors. No studies had been attempted to compare the health knowledge of students majoring in biology and health science. In this study an attempt was made to measure and compare the health knowledge of students attending San Fernando Valley State College and majoring in Health Science and Biology using a health knowledge test devised for the study. The test consisted of sixty-five questions. It included the following content areas: family health, communicable disease control, nutrition and general health knowledge. The population studied included 121 biology students and 119 health science students. The test was administered to the students in selected biology and health science classes. The data were initially analyzed by the use of student's T test to determine if the difference between the means of both groups was statistically significant. The two groups were further categorized into sub–groups according to academic level. The responses of each group and its cohort were compared for statistical significance by the T test at the .05 level of significance. The data were also analyzed on the basis of correct and incorrect responses for each test item in a four field contingency table using the chi -square analysis. Based on the findings of the study, and assuming the questions were valid, it was concluded that the health science students had a higher level of health knowledge than did the biology students. The health knowledge of the biology students was closer to the health knowledge of the health science students in the content area of nutrition. The health knowledge of health science students also increased as the number of health science courses taken by the students increased. It was recommended, that if it was desirable to increase the health knowledge of biology students, the number of health science courses for the biology students might be increased, more health-oriented information might be incorporated into biology classes and special workshops on current health problems might be established for biology students.