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The Effects of Health Education through Face to Face Teaching and Educational Movies, on Suburban Women in Childbearing Age

Article excerpt

Abstract

Background: The aim of the study was to compare the effects of 'face-to-face education' and 'educational movies' on 'knowledge' and 'practice' of women of child-bearing-age, in terms of health-care during pregnancy and during infancy in a suburban region near Tehran City, Iran.

Methods: In this quasi-experimental study, the sample included 873 married women. Questionnaires for knowledge and practice assessment were designed. The women were assigned to three groups: control (group I), face-to-face education (group II), and educational movie (group III). Knowledge questionnaires were completed before and immediately after intervention. Practice questionnaires were completed before and three months after intervention. Both questionnaires consisted of two types of questions: type A (concerning infant care issues) and type B (concerning prenatal health care).

Results: There was a significant difference in post-test knowledge between groups I and II and between groups I and III, but not between groups II and III. In terms of post-test practice, the changes were determined for every individual question, and significantly, better results were seen in group II, especially concerning type B questions.

Conclusion: Face to face education lead to better practice than educational movies. In addition, significantly better practice occurred regarding child health care issues rather than prenatal issues in both groups. Realistic and tangible issues, those easy to practice, and with little or no economical burden imposed on the family, progressed from the knowledge state to the practice state more successfully in both groups.

Keywords: Child health-care, Prenatal care, Health education, Women, Suburban, Iran

Introduction

Many authors all over the world have published the results of studies about the effects of health education on "knowledge" in different groups of people, and not surprisingly, most trials have shown positive results. Despite this fact, there remain many gaps in our overall knowledge about the outcomes and impacts of health education; for example: What are the effects of different educational methods (in this case, face to face education and educational films) on people's "knowledge" and "practice"? How does "practice" differ in response to different educational methods, despite an equal rise in knowledge? Does the topic of what is being taught make any differences in how well it is learned and put to practice? Several studies have addressed these gaps in different ways. Most either have noted the discrepancy between awareness and behavior, or the difficulty and low overall effectiveness of changing behavior despite seemingly adequate amounts of knowledge, or have pondered over the factors influencing this discrepancy (1-8). The gaps in the complete understanding of this issue are even more in countries where local studies addressing it, are poor, lacking or of low quality. Malhotra et al. have pointed out to the low attention given to research on health education for certain areas of knowledge, such as food handling in developing countries (9). The low quality of health education research has been especially demonstrated by Loevinsohn in a methodological review of published articles on health education programs in developing countries (10). Although people all over the world are similar in many ways, it is unwise to draw similar rules and regulations in terms of people's psychosocial behaviors in similar conditions. Iran is rather poor in terms of local studies that fill up the afore-mentioned gaps. Thus, although much is done for public awareness and numerous public awareness campaigns are implemented all over the country on different subjects, especially on health issues, spending large amounts of national budget and resources, very little is known about the true outcomes and impacts, based on the scarce amount of published reports in Iran.

The present study was performed to fill in some gaps in this area in the country, by comparing the effects of two educational methods, the face-to-face education and educational movies, on knowledge and practice of female residents of childbearing age living in a suburban region near Tehran, the capital city of Iran. …