Knowledge and use of services available at the El Centro Community College health center and health-related agencies in the city of Dallas, Texas

Wyckoff, Jean E.
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The general purposes of this study were to determine the extent of knowledge and use of health services and facilities within a junior/community college and to determine the extent of knowledge and use of health services and facilities in the community. This descriptive study was developed and initiated to identify the levels of knowledge and utilization of health center services and facilities within El Centro Community College and in the wider community, the City of Dallas.

The researcher developed a questionnaire which was administered to 287 students, representing 4 percent of the total enrollment of El Centro Community College. The population of this study comprised students enrolled in all of the English 102 classes taught at El Centro. Such classes were offered both during the day and in the evening, and the majority of students enrolled at the college are required to take this course, thus providing a representative cross-section of the population. The students who were present in class on the day the questionnaire was administered were invited to participate on a volunteer basis. No attempt was made to administer the questionnaire subsequently to those who were absent.

The questionnaire was administered to the subjects in October, 1976; the students were allowed 50 minutes to complete the instrument. Analysis of the data gathered from the students' responses to the questionnaire revealed that the levels of knowledge and use of the services offered by the El Centro Community College Health Center and of the services rendered by agencies in Dallas County were not oriented to the criteria of the questionnaire. The findings of this study, then, were in agreement with those of the studies reviewed in the literature, all of which reported little knowledge and use of college health facilities on the part of students.

Considerable lack of information and misinformation were prevalent among the students participating in this study, with some of the respondents reporting knowledge and use of services which, in fact, were not offered by the College. Generally, however, the level of use of services corresponded to the level of knowledge. Those services about which the greatest number of students had knowledge were services most used by the students. The services most used included first-aid treatment, free health-related pamphlets, rest area, scales for weighing, and blood pressure check.

There was a relationship between the level of knowledge and use of health-related services provided by agencies in the community and those provided by the El Centro Health Center. The service with which the greatest number of students was familiar was the provision of drug and alcohol problem solving counseling. Twenty of the 25 services provided by county agencies were known to less than 20 percent of the students in the study.

Health facilities, Medical care, El Centro Community College