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Factors that can affect students' wellbeing – A quantitative retrospective study

02 December 2023
Volume 4 · Issue 6


In Sweden, the role of the school nurse is to promote students' health and wellbeing and also to prevent illness. Wellbeing can involve creating good relationships but also includes feelings of participation and a meaningful existence. During a health dialogue the school nurse can discover students who experience mental illness, and factors that can affect students' wellbeing. The purpose of the study was to investigate factors that may affect students' wellbeing. A quantitative method with a retrospective longitudinal approach was applied. The study was conducted using collected data based on health questions posed to students in the first year of high school's health visit during the 2013/14–2018/19 school years. The results show differences between girls' and boys' wellbeing based on their answers to health issues. Factors that may affect students' wellbeing can pose a risk of mental illness. Mental illness is increasing in students and the increased demands at school may be the cause.

The World Health Organization's (WHO) definition of health is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not just the absence of disease and disability.’ ‘Health is a human right and does not just mean the absence of disease’ (WHO, 1946). Health often affects how people feel about life. A good life-rhythm helps people experience meaning and context. The meanings of health are intertwined with one another to create the overall experience of health. The feeling of vitality and meaningfulness are of great value for the experience of health (Dahlberg and Segesten, 2010).

The WHO (2007) defines mental health as the human state of mental wellbeing. Mental health is affected by each person realising their own possibilities, coping with normal stresses in life, being able to work productively and being able to contribute to the society in which the person lives. The WHO's (2019) definition of mental health indicates that mental health is not the same as the absence of mental illness, and people can experience their existence as being meaningful despite mental stress. According to Granlund et al (2021) the relationship between health and mental health is an integrated part of health and more than the absence of mental disorders or disabilities. The school health service organisation in Swedish schools includes professionals such as school physicians and nurses, psychologists, social workers, guidance counsellors and special education teachers. The aim of the school health service is to provide medical, psychological, psychosocial and special education services to support environments that promote students' learning, development and health (National Board of Health and Welfare and Swedish National Agency for Education, 2016).

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