Effect of health education on knowledge and attitude of tertiary school students towards sexually transmitted infections
Background: In order to make good decisions about their sexual and reproductive health, young people need reliable information. This study assessed the effect of health education on the knowledge and attitude of tertiary school students towards sexually transmitted infections. Methods: The study employed a quasi-experimental study design in which students of the two Colleges of Education in Lagos, Nigeria were selected by multistage sampling technique. These colleges were randomized into intervention and control groups. Health education sessions were given to students in the intervention groups, while the control group did not receive any health education session. Results: At post-intervention, respondents with poor knowledge reduced from 187 (74.2%) to 135 (53.1%) and those with good knowledge of STIs increased from 18 (7.1%) to 44 (17.2%) in the intervention group (p < 0.0001). However, respondents with poor knowledge in the control group reduced from 191 (74.6%) to 175(68.1%) and those with good knowledge increased from 12 (4.7%) to 17 (6.6%); p = 0.25. Respondents with poorattitude towards condom use increased from 37.3% to 50.2% in the intervention group (p =0.12) and reduced from 38.3% to 35% in the control group (p = 0.44). The poor attitude towards abstinence increased from 19.8% to 36.1% and from 18.8% to 29.2% in the intervention and control groups; p = 0.004 and 0.14 respectively.Conversely, those with good attitude towards abstinence reduced from 36.5% to 36.1% and from 30% to 29.6% in both intervention and control groups respectively. Conclusion: Educational intervention results in significant knowledge about sexually transmitted infections but produced little or no change in attitude and practice. There is a need for more research in the prevention of sexually transmitted infections among students of tertiary institutions.
Keywords: Attitude, Education, Knowledge, Sexually Transmitted Infections High Med Res J 2013;13:31-35