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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 430-434

Comparison of effectiveness of two methods of health education on cancer awareness among adolescent school children in a rural area of Southern India

Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Surekha Anbazhagan
Department of Community Health, St. John's Medical College, Bengaluru - 560 034, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4863.192357

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Introduction: Cancer is a major public health problem worldwide. There is an urgent need for a reinvigorated and tailored approach to promote cancer prevention and treatment-related health education, especially among the youth. Objective: (1) To assess the knowledge and awareness of the students of adolescent age group about cancer. (2) To compare two methods of health education on improving awareness about cancer among these students. Methodology: We conducted an interventional study among students (both male and female) of adolescent age group (10–19 years) who attend Government school (Lakkur and Kugur) in Sarjapur PHC between May and September 2014. A standard pretested validated questionnaire-adopted from Cancer Awareness Measure-translated into Kannada was used. After pretest, health education was given by two modes: in Lakkur - child to child, and Kugur - routine (lecture). Following 2 days of health education, an immediate posttest was conducted. After 2 weeks, the second posttest was conducted. Results: In Kugur School, 96 students and Lakkur School, 104 students participated. The mean age group of students in both the schools was 14 years. The preexisting knowledge scores between both the schools were not statistically significant. There was a significant increase in knowledge of the posttest scores in all three domains of cancer questionnaire in both the schools. Child to child program in Lakkur School was found to be more effective in increasing the knowledge scores. Conclusion: To increase the awareness of cancer among schools using child to child method for health education. School curriculum should include sessions on cancer education and reinforced to students periodically. To sustain this measure, school teachers could be trained in nuances of cancer prevention and treatment.

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