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Knowledge and attitudes on reproductive health among adolescents

Knowledge and attitudes on reproductive health among adolescents

Epidemiologia E Prevenzione 20(2-3): 122-123

During 1993-94, 5 sex information programs were conducted in various secondary schools in Rome, involving a total of 292 students whose age ranged from 14 to 21 years. The courses were organized in 5 sessions lasting 2 hours each and were held by a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology. Visual teaching materials were presented, followed by discussions. The initiative was evaluated by means of 3 questionnaires: the pretest questionnaire on attitudes and knowledge about reproductive health; the second was administered at the end of the course about recommendations; and the third one verified the modification of the knowledge level 4 months later. 20-50% of the students answered correctly all questions about reproductive health before the course and 70-100% of them at the end of 4 months. 95% of the sample thought that the school should provide information about sexuality and 74% of the students suggested that it should be introduced in the lower grades of secondary schools. The major subjects requested were hygiene and sexually transmitted diseases (75%), sexuality and psychological aspects (68%), and infections (65%). Information about reproductive physiology and contraception among young people was obtained from friends (74%), books and journals (57%), parents (42% for boys and 56% for girls), the school (25%), family counseling (4%), and the family physician (3%). The fertile period of the menstrual cycle was correctly stated by 48% in the pretest sample, 88% after the course, and 93% 4 months later. 87% of the subjects knew that the condom also offers protection against sexually transmitted diseases, but 25% said that it has no expiration date. 23% of the students did not know that abortion is legal in Italy. Family counseling should focus on prevention activities for the school-age population.

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Accession: 046508090

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PMID: 8766295

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