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Applicability of the theory of planned behavior in predicting intended use of Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing services among teachers of Harari Region, Ethiopia

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Background: The predictive validity and applicability of Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) may be a promising model for understanding and predicting intended behaviors to use VCT services. The need for theory based study would thus be essential in designing evidence based HIV-related interventions in the future. Objectives: To examine the applicability of the Theory of Planned Behavior and the additional predictive role of perceived risk in predicting intended use of Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing (VCT) services. Methods: A cross sectional study design was conducted among 20 randomly selected schools in Harari Region between March and April 2009. Four hundred ninety seven randomly selected teachers consented to participate in the study giving a response rate of 87.8%. Self administered questionnaire, adopted from the TPB was used for data collection. Multiple linear regression models were used to predict the role of important variables that can influence the intention to use VCT among teachers using SPSS version 15. Result: More than half (53.7%) who had never used VCT service were considered in the analysis for the intended VCT service use. All the modal variables correlated significantly with behavioral intention. Subjective norm (r=0.45, p<0.001), perceived behavioral control (r=0.42, p<0.001) attitude (r=0.33, p<0.001) and perceived susceptibility(r=0.25, p<0.001), were significantly and positively correlated while perceived severity to the illness (r= -0.14, P<0.001) was significantly but negatively correlated with behavioral intention. Perceived severity of the illness, normative belief and having high level of self control were the major predictors for intended use of VCT. Conclusion: The study demonstrated that the TBP is a useful model for evidence based educational programs focusing mainly on creating supportive social system and strengthens their self efficacy for positive VCT uptake. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2010;24(2):96-102]

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