Effect of Health Education on Knowledge, Attitude and Practices of Personal Hygiene among Secondary School Students in Rural Sokoto, North West, Nigeria
Background: Personal hygiene related diseases are serious public health problems in developing countries.
Objective: To assess the effect of health education on knowledge, attitude, and practices of personal hygiene among rural secondary school students in Sokoto state, north western Nigeria.
Methods: A quasi-experimental controlled study with pretest and post-test design was carried out. A total 120 subjects per group were selected by multistage sampling technique. Two pre-tested instruments, structured interviewer-administered questionnaire and observer's checklist for personal hygiene practices were used for data collection. Health education intervention was carried out one week after baseline data collection and repeated after four weeks for the intervention group only. Postintervention data collection was carried out in both intervention and control groups three months after the 2nd intervention. However, for ethical consideration, the control group was also provided with the health education intervention similar to that provided to the intervention group.
Results: A total of 120 and 116 subjects in the intervention and control groups respectively participated in all phases of the study. The mean knowledge score (%) of the study subjects was high and similar (73.18±25.82; 77.06±21.79; p=0.21) in both the intervention and control groups at baseline, but differed very significantly (91.16±11.03; 81.74±21.78; p<0.0001) at post-intervention. The mean attitude score (%) was high but differ significantly (82.6±12.73; 86.38±10.74; p=0.01) between the intervention and control groups at baseline, and further differed very significantly (95.5±3.66; 86.90±10.44; p<0.0001) at post intervention. The mean reported practice score (%) was high but differ significantly (94.86±3.00; 93.25±6.31; p=0.01) between the intervention and control groups at baseline, and further differed very significantly (96.68±4.08; 93.7±6.28; p<0.0001) at post-intervention. The mean observed practice score (%) was high and similar (57.50±29.65; 61.35±28.49; p=0.31) in both the intervention and control groups at baseline, but differed very significantly (88.20±9.99; 62.10±26.94; p<0.0001) at post-intervention.
Conclusion: Health education intervention had impact on knowledge base, attitude and practice of study subjects in intervention group compared to control group. Personal hygiene health education is therefore recommended to be taught in secondary schools.
Keywords: Attitude, health education, knowledge, Nigeria, practice, personal hygiene, Sokoto