Impact of health education program about reproductive health on knowledge and attitude of female Alexandria University students

J Egypt Public Health Assoc. 2003;78(5-6):433-66.


In Egypt, adolescents don't have enough and/or correct knowledge regarding reproductive health. Health education interventions are widely seen as the most appropriate strategy for promoting young people's sexual health. The aim of the present work was to assess the impact of a short-term health education program about reproductive health on knowledge and attitude of female Alexandria university students. Quasi-experimental study (pre-post testing control group) was carried out among 682 female university students living in the university hostels, 354 students represented the intervention group (Ezbet-Saad hostel) who received the program and 328 students constituted the control group (El-Shatby hostel). The study revealed that no one had satisfactory knowledge level while 61.7 % and 38.3% respectively had fair and poor levels. The low knowledge level was more evident regarding the questions about: the meaning of the term 'reproductive health' (only 5.1% gave correct complete answer), the benefits of premarital examination (only 37.9% reported complete answer), the investigations done for the pregnant woman (only 28.3% gave complete answer) the benefits of breast feeding (only 8.2% reported complete answer), methods of family planning (only 36.4% gave complete answer), side effects of female genital mutilation (only 4% reported complete answer), sexually transmitted diseases and methods of protection (only 11.9% and 3.9% reported complete answer). It was evident that 32.6% had an overall positive attitude level, 46.3% were in the neutral level and 21.1% had a negative level. It was also found that students of highly or moderately educated mothers and of high social class reported significantly higher knowledge score about premarital examination, age of marriage and breast-feeding than those of non-educated mothers and of low social class. After the intervention program there was a significant improvement in the majority of knowledge questions from pre to post test in the intervention group and no absolute changes were detected in the control group. The highest percentage of gain scores (33.3%) was detected for knowledge about the term 'reproductive health' and female genital mutilation. A significant gain score of 25% was observed for the knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases. Also there was a gain of 20% in the median score concerning the knowledge about breast feeding and family planning. A significant shift towards a positive attitude was found among the intervention group.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Egypt
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Program Evaluation
  • Reproductive Medicine / education*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires