A Theory-based Online Health Behaviour Intervention for new University Students: One-month Follow-up Data


  • P. Norman
  • D. Cameron
  • T. Epton
  • P. Sheeran
  • P.R. Harris
  • T. Webb
  • S.A. Julious
  • A. Brennan
  • P.S. Meier
  • J. Kruger
  • D. Naughton
  • A. Petroczi


Background: The transition to university can be associated with a decrease in health-promoting behaviours (e.g., exercise) and an increase in health-risk behaviours (e.g., alcohol). An online intervention, combining self-affirmation, the theory of planned behaviour and implementation intentions, targeted fruit and vegetable intake, exercise, binge drinking and smoking during the transition to university. Methods: New students (N=2621) were randomly allocated to an online health-behaviour intervention (U@Uni: LifeGuide) or a measurement-only control condition one month before starting university. Participants were followed-up one month after starting university (N=1319). Findings: At one-month follow-up, participants in the intervention group reported eating more fruit and vegetables, F(1, 1280) = 4.19, p = .04, than participants in the control group. No significant differences were found between the two conditions on the other three health behaviours targeted in the intervention. Discussion: The findings suggest that a theory-based intervention targeting multiple health behaviours may have a modest impact on the health behaviours of students during their first month at university.






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