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The Effects of Short Health Messages Intervention in Improving Knowledge and Attitude on Sexual and Reproductive Health among Late Adolescents at Colleges in Malaysia

DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2018.88019, PP. 207-228

Keywords: Adolescent, Sexual and Reproductive Health, SMS Intervention, College

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Abstract:

Sexual and reproductive health problems among adolescents are increasing in trend. Inadequate knowledge of sexual and reproductive health is the main cause of problems in sexual and reproductive health. Short messages service (SMS) intervention has been implemented widely in health education and the outcomes are positive. Hence, this study was conducted to evaluate the effects of mobile phone messaging in improving sexual and reproductive health among late adolescents (age 18 - 19 years old). A quasi-experimental study was conducted in two Professional Vocasional Colleges in Malaysia. A total of 116 respondents in the intervention group and 130 respondents in the control group had completed the study. There was a series of 24 messages (SMS) sent to the respondents biweekly for 12 weeks. The adolescent girls (mean knowledge score 15.90, sd ± 3.321) in the intervention group had a significantly (P = 0.007) higher mean score in knowledge of sexual and reproductive health than boys (mean knowledge score 13.87, sd ± 4.003) at post intervention. The adolescent boys (mean knowledge scores 15.35, sd ± 4.748) in the control group had a significantly (P = 0.009) higher mean score for knowledge on HIV/AIDS than girls (mean scores 13.08, sd ± 4.325) at post intervention. In the intervention group, the number of respondents with good knowledge and good attitude on HIV/AIDS increased at 3 months post intervention. SMS intervention on knowledge of sexual and reproductive health for adolescents was accepted and effectively improved the knowledge scores and sustained even after 3 months post intervention. Therefore, the SMS intervention should be implemented as an intervention package to improve knowledge and reduce risk in developing sexual and health related problems among adolescents.

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