Knowledge of Reproductive Health and Perception of Violence among Rural Schoolgirls in Egypt.

Elden, N. M. K., W. A. Khairy, and E. H. Elsebay, "Knowledge of Reproductive Health and Perception of Violence among Rural Schoolgirls in Egypt.", Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology, 2019.


STUDY OBJECTIVE: Although schools should play a crucial role in providing the right health information at the right age, little is known about the knowledge of school pupils in Egypt, especially girls living in rural areas, regarding reproductive health, and their perceptions of violence. This study aimed to assess reproductive health knowledge and perceptions around violence among rural school-attending girls.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 3 randomly selected public schools in a rural district in Fayoum Governorate. An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was collected from a random sample of 412 schoolgirls between May and June 2017.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A reproductive health knowledge score was generated by summing the correct responses to 28 items related to puberty, reproductive health problems, and marriage. The participants' scores were dichotomized as high reproductive health knowledge if they scored > 50% correct and low knowledge if they scored <50%.

RESULTS: More than two-thirds of the participants had low reproductive health knowledge. The mean and standard deviation of the reproductive health knowledge score was 12.5+4.7 out of 28. Multivariable regression analysis indicated that participants' age (AOR=1.6, 95% CI=1.2-2.0) and their fathers' education (AOR=1.4, 95% CI=0.5-3.8) predicted high reproductive health knowledge. Regarding the perception of violence, approximately 31% of the participants accepted physical punishment from parents.

CONCLUSIONS: Schoolgirls in rural areas are still ignorant about many reproductive health issues and are subjected to different forms of violence, which necessitates development of reproductive health awareness programs with engagement of parents and teachers.

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