The effect of peer group education in reproductive health among university students (in Iran)

The effect of peer group education in reproductive health among university

students (in Iran)

N. Peikari, F. Ramezani Tehrani, S.H. Djalalinia, M. Rostami Dovom

NRCRH, Deputy of Research &Technology, MOHME, Tehran, Iran

Objective(s): This study aimed to evaluate effectiveness of peer group

education in improvement of Reproductive health status of youth.

Design & methods: In this operational research, at first we

assessed reproductive health status and needs of Gazvin Medical University

students through recruiting of 1117 students by using quota-sampling method with

self-completed questionnaire contained 43 close questions respecting to

reproductive health. Then based on the results and students preference ‘peer

group program’ considered as an interventional program for improvement of

students’ reproductive health status. For this purpose Peer promoters

selectively recruited among university students and then selected promoters were

adequately trained. The contents of this training course contained of these

topics: Sexual behavior, Sexual difficulties, Consequence of unprotected sex,

Sexual transmitted infections/AIDS, Family planning. After this course they

introduced to the other students through holding seminar, newsletter and so on.

They were counseling with other students and educated them about sexual/Reproductive

health. Scientific committee supervised and supported them during their works.

Results: Based on the pre interventional survey, students have a

middle level of knowledge and positive attitude about reproductive health.

Health belief model of students shows that majority of them perceive the risk of

STDs/ AIDs and they believe the risk is middle and youth ability to practice

health behavior is low or middle.Most of them presume the services are not

adequate and the main barriers of youth reproductive health promotion are

non-advocating environment and low awareness of youth. After intervention, we

preformed focus group discussion (FGD) with students and scientific/executive

committee and also with peer promoters. Lessons learned from peer group

education: The advantage of this program based on qualitative assessment is:

Young people related well to people similar to them in age, background, and

interests. The cultural similarity of peer promoters helped ensure that the

language and messages used are relevant and appropriate. This program has

positive effect in reduction of high-risk behavior. Peer programs allowed for

the direct involvement of young people in their own programs. It was a cost

benefit programs.

Conclusions: Health education interventions are widely seen as the

most appropriate strategy for promoting young people’s sexual/Reproductive


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