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Reproductive health education intervention trial

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Objective: To measure the effectiveness of a reproductive health education package in improving the knowledge of adolescent girls aged 15–19 years in Chandigarh (India).Methods: A reproductive health education package, developed in consultation with parents, teachers and adolescents, was delivered to randomly sampled classes of two senior secondary schools and one school was selected as control. In one school, a nurse conducted 15 sessions for 94 students in three batches using conventional education approach. In another school she conducted sessions for a selected group of 20 adolescents who later disseminated the messages informally to their 84 classmates (peer education). Using a 70-item structured questionnaire the knowledge of 95 adolescents from conventional, 84 from peer, and 94 from control school were assessed before and one month after the last session. Change in the score in intervention and control groups was tested by ANOVA taking age and socio-economic status as covariates.Results: Teachers, parents and students overwhelmingly (88%, 95.5% and 93% respectively) favoured reproductive health education program. Five percent of the respondents reported that someone in their class is having sexual relations, and 13% of the girls approved of pre-marital sexual relations. Reproductive health knowledge scores improved significantly after intervention in conventional education (27.28) and peer education group (20.77) in comparison to the controls (3.64). Post-test scores were not significantly different between peer education group and conventional education group (43.65 and 40.52 respectively) though the time consumed in delivering the peer education intervention was almost one third of the time taken to implement conventional education.Conclusion: Peer education and conventional education strategies were effective in improving the reproductive health knowledge of adolescent girls but peer strategy was less time consuming

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Correspondence to Rajesh Kumar.

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Parwej, S., Kumar, R., Walia, I. et al. Reproductive health education intervention trial. Indian J Pediatr 72, 287–291 (2005).

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