The impact of a school-based health education programme on knowledge regarding risk factors for chronic diseases of lifestyle: A pilot study
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a health education programme on the risk factors of chronic diseases of lifestyle. This study adopted a one-group pretest posttest non-experimental design. The study sample consisted of 93 grade 8 and 9 learners at a high school in the Western Cape, South Africa. The intervention was a 5-week health education programme that aimed at improving knowledge regarding the risk factors for chronic diseases of lifestyle. The intervention included lectures, research and presentations. Data were analysed descriptively and inferential statistics were analysed to determine associations between variables. The pre-test questionnaire reported learners to have achieved low scores on the areas of diabetes and stroke but after the intervention there was a significant improvement (p<0.05). There is need to design and incorporate specific health education programmes within the school setting that will create an awareness among the youth as this is the most at-risk group to indulge in health risk behaviour. It is important to design interventions that are specific to the target population. This programme may be a step in teaching young people to identify risk factors of chronic diseases of lifestyle and also assist them to implement effective preventive measures.
Keywords: Learners, risk factors, chronic diseases.
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