Evaluating the Sharing Stories youth theatre program: an interactive theatre and drama-based strategy for sexual health promotion among multicultural youth

Health Promot J Austr. 2017 Mar;28(1):30-36. doi: 10.1071/HE15096.

Abstract

Issue addressed Rates of sexually transmissible infections among young people are high, and there is a need for innovative, youth-focused sexual health promotion programs. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Sharing Stories youth theatre program, which uses interactive theatre and drama-based strategies to engage and educate multicultural youth on sexual health issues. The effectiveness of using drama-based evaluation methods is also discussed. Methods The youth theatre program participants were 18 multicultural youth from South East Asian, African and Middle Eastern backgrounds aged between 14 and 21 years. Four sexual health drama scenarios and a sexual health questionnaire were used to measure changes in knowledge and attitudes. Results Participants reported being confident talking to and supporting their friends with regards to safe sex messages, improved their sexual health knowledge and demonstrated a positive shift in their attitudes towards sexual health. Drama-based evaluation methods were effective in engaging multicultural youth and worked well across the cultures and age groups. Conclusions Theatre and drama-based sexual health promotion strategies are an effective method for up-skilling young people from multicultural backgrounds to be peer educators and good communicators of sexual health information. Drama-based evaluation methods are engaging for young people and an effective way of collecting data from culturally diverse youth. So what? This study recommends incorporating interactive and arts-based strategies into sexual health promotion programs for multicultural youth. It also provides guidance for health promotion practitioners evaluating an arts-based health promotion program using arts-based data collection methods.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Africa / ethnology
  • Drama*
  • Far East / ethnology
  • Female
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle East / ethnology
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Safe Sex
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexual Health*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Washington
  • Young Adult