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Open Access Research article

What was retained? The assessment of the training for the peer trainers' course on short and long term basis

Vildan Mevsim1*, Dilek Guldal1, Nilgun Ozcakar1 and Ozge Saygin2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine, Dokuz Eylul University Medical Faculty, Izmir, Turkey

2 Department of Econometrics, Dokuz Eylul University Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Izmir, Turkey

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BMC Public Health 2008, 8:24  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-24

Published: 22 January 2008

Abstract

Background

In Turkey, the studies have reported that the age at which sexual intercourse and sexual activity starts has been steadily declining. There is an urgent need to increase social and health services for young people in order to provide them with a healthy life by changing their risky behaviors, avoiding unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Sexual and reproductive health training particularly for adolescents warrants special attention and consideration.

The objective of our study is to find out the short and long term effectiveness of a training course on peer education.

Methods

The study was conducted on 237 students who participated in a 40 hour Peer Trainer Training course. We utilized two types of evaluation methods to measure the effectiveness of the training on students' knowledge and attitude. The first method consisted of administering 3 tests comprised of the same 45 questions at 3 separate time intervals. Prior to the training a pre-test was given to obtain a measurement of base knowledge, and then an immediate post-test was given to evaluate the change in the knowledge and opinion of the participants.

Finally, 6 months later the same test was administered to measure the retention of knowledge by the students. In the second type of evaluation, the participants' assessment of the training itself was sought by asking them to complete a Short Course Evaluation Form. We utilized SPSS 12.0 for descriptive analysis, and the Wilcoxon two related sample t-test were run.

Results

According to the pre and immediate post-test results, the training resulted in an increase in knowledge learned by an average of 21.6% (p < 0.05). Whereas, according to the immediate post test and the late post-test which was given six month later, there was a 1.8% decrease in the knowledge and attitude of the participants (p > 0.05). Participants thought that they had fun during training, and they became aware of what they knew and what they did not know.

Conclusion

Peer trainers with the training methods utilized, the knowledge and counseling acquired during training sessions will be able to provide counseling to their peers on reproductive health.