RESEARCH PAPER
Assessment of differences in psychosocial resources and state of health of rural and urban residents – based on studies carried out on students during examination stress
 
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1
Department of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
2
Chair of Development of Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
3
Department of Family Medicine and Community Nursing, Medical University of Białystok, Poland
4
Faculty of Health Sciences, Medical College, Jagiellonian University, Poland
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2014;21(4):882–887
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction:
Civilization changes of the environment shaping the psychosocial resources from rural to urban influence human health.

Aim:
The study aimed to identify the differences due to the place of residence (rural, urban) as far as health resources are concerned (social support, sense of coherence, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate concentration in plasma) and health in examination stress situations. The study also determined the concentration of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (health resource) and cortisol (stress indicator).

Material and Methods:
The psychosocial variables were assessed using the scales: ISEL-48v. Coll., SOC-29, SF-36v.2™ o and analogue scale (perception of examination stress). The study included, based on a stratified sampling (year of study) and purposive sampling (written examination, major), 731 students representing the six universities in Lublin, south-east Poland. Among the respondents, 130 students were rural residents.

Results:
Health resources of students living in rural and urban areas generally differ statistically significantly in social support and the subscales of availability of tangible support, availability of appreciative support, the availability of cognitive-evaluative support and a sense of resourcefulness. The study recorded a sstatistically significantly larger network of family ties among students living in rural areas. The demonstrated diversity of resources did not substantially affect the perceived health, with the exception of pain sensation. Examination stress assessed by subjective opinion of the respondents and plasma cortisol levels vary relative to the place of residence. Students residing in rural areas showed significantly lower cortisol levels values, but subjectively perceived the situation of examation as more stressful.

Conclusions:
Differences in health resources and their mechanism of impact on health, to a limited extent, were conditioned by the place of residence, but they are so important in the light of human choices that they require further analysis.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Danuta Zarzycka   
Department of Pediatric Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Health Sciences, Medical University of Lublin, Poland
 
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