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Keywords:

  • environmental health;
  • home health hazards;
  • nursing students;
  • risk perception

Abstract

Objective

This study described nursing students' perceptions of home health risks.

Design and Sample

Nursing students (N = 254) at two large urban universities completed a cross-sectional survey during the 2011–2013 academic years.

Measures

From a list of 22 common home health hazards, students identified what they perceived as the three: (a) most dangerous hazards, (b) most common hazards in their state, (c) hazards most likely to be present in their current home, and (d) hazards they would most afraid to find in their home. Students also rated perceived dangerousness of the hazards, how healthy they perceived their home to be, and the perceived effect of their home on their own health.

Results

Tobacco smoke, asbestos, and cleaning products were the most commonly identified home hazards. Individual characteristics, hazard experiences in personal homes, and university geographic location (state) were associated with perceptions of home hazards. Students who identified hazards in their own homes were more likely to identify them as hazards in general and for their own state.

Conclusions

These results fill a foundational knowledge gap by describing the risk perceptions of near-future health care providers about home environmental hazards.