Saturday June 25, 2022 from 16:00 to 17:30
Baseline reproductive and sexual health knowledge among undergraduate university and college students
Kunal Jain1, Ryan Sun1, Juan Mohadeb2, Natasha Dhingra3, Ruben Blachman-Braun4, Premal Patel1.
1Department of Surgery, Section of Urology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada; 2College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada; 3Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; 4Department of Urology, University of Miami, Miami, FL, United States
Introduction: Undergraduate students comprise of a large proportion of newly sexually active adults; however, literature on their reproductive and sexual health knowledge is lacking. We sought to explore this knowledge gap to better address students’ needs.
Methods: A novel questionnaire was created using local expert input. In addition to assessing respondents’ demographics and attitudes, multiple-choice questions were employed to evaluate three knowledge domains: contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and infertility. After obtaining local research ethics board approval, the questionnaire was distributed online from January to March 2021 to undergraduate university and college students in Manitoba through their institution's student unions. Participation was voluntary, informed consent was obtained, and data was anonymized. Chi-squared, Fisher’s exact test, Kruskal-Wallis, and U-Mann Witney tests were used for data analysis.
Results: Survey respondents (n=309) scored an average of 56% correct (18/32). Overall, respondents scored highest on questions regarding contraception (68%) and lowest on questions regarding STIs (32%). Higher knowledge scores were associated with high socioeconomic status and older age (p<0.05). Only 27% of respondents felt that their high school education on STIs was adequate and 62% felt that they did not have access to sufficient resources if they wanted any sexual health help.
Conclusions: Undergraduate students may be underprepared to make reproductive and sexual health decisions. These patients represent a vulnerable cohort within the urologist's practice. To our knowledge, this is the first Canadian study seeking to understand this group's baseline reproductive and sexual health knowledge. This study highlights the need for improved reproductive and sexual health education to enable our patients to make more informed decisions, minimize negative outcomes, and enhance their well-being during urological care.