Reproductive health education of conscripts in Turkish Armed Forces: First evaluation of training courses

Reproductive health education of conscripts in Turkish Armed

Forces: First evaluation of training courses

S Gungor1, B Bakir2, A Akyuz3, E Gocgeldi2, CH Acikel2, T

Kaya3, M Gulec2, M Hasde2, A Temiztugay4, R Gul4, C Simsek4, R Pabuccu5, G

Yildirimkaya6, T Tuzer6, E Elci6, D Sen7, AB Albrectsen6

1Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Dept. Obstetrics &

Gynecology, Ankara, Turkey, 2Gulhane Military Medical Academy, Dept. Public

Health, Ankara, Turkey, 3Gulhane Military Medical Academy, School of Nursery,

Ankara, Turkey,4Directorate of Mother and Child Health& Family Planning,

Ministry of Health, Ankara, Turkey, 5Ufuk University, Dept. Obstetrics&Gynecology,

Ankara, Turkey, 6UNFPA, Office of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey, 7Gulhane Military

Medical Academy, Dean of School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey

Background In the frame of Reproductive Health Program of

Turkish Armed Forces, conscripts have been given one-day participatory,

interactive courses by the field military medical trainers in all military

garrisons. The curriculum was developed considering the present and future needs

of young males, including the model-practice of condom use. All courses have

been conducted in training rooms with standardized training material and with a

U-shaped sitting arrangement for a group of maximum 20 participants.

Methods Pre- and post-test knowledge levels of soldiers

were tested by 25 true-false type questions. Demographic characteristics and

test scores were routinely transferred from 580 training rooms to reproductive

health database by authorized field trainers using network of the army. 248.796

soldiers with perfect entrance of data have been selected for descriptive


Results Of all soldiers, 39.2% were born in 1984. Primary

school graduates have constituted the largest group with 34.4%. Only 7.4% of the

soldiers were married. Mean pre-course score was 65.7% ± 15.4, while

post-course score was 83.5 ± SD=12.73 (p<0.001). The proportion of soldiers who applied a condom on a penis model was 93.3 % (n:232.007). Those who used to live in East Region of Turkey have obtained significantly lower scores on both pre and post test comparing with scores of those who used to live other regions (p<0.001). Groups based on 5-educational level have obtained significantly different scores ascending gradually from uneducated to the higher educational level (p<0.001). The ratio of increase in knowledge was highest in the groups with least educational level and unmarried (p<0.001).

Conclusion Training courses seem to succeed in increasing

the knowledge of conscripts, particularly of those with a low socio-economic and

cultural status. However, it requires time to see whether this increase in

knowledge level will promote behavioral change positively and will improve young

males’ own and their partners’ reproductive health status.

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