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International child health

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G32 3 YEAR FOLLOW UP STUDY ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CLASSROOM BASED ANTISMOKING HEALTH EDUCATION PROGRAMME AMONG YOUNG CHILDREN IN MALAYSIA

A. M. H. Zabidi-Hussin, C. Y. F. Irfan, A. R. Mazidah, B. S. Quah. Department of Paediatrics, School of Medical Sciences, 16150 Universiti Sains, Malaysia

Introduction: The prevalence of smoking among children in Asia has increased dramatically over the past 10 years. At present, there are no specific antismoking education programmes for young children in Malaysia.

Aims: To study the outcome of a classroom based antismoking health education programme designed for young school children in Malaysia.

Methods: A validated questionnaire was used to assess knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) of smoking among school children based on WHO Self Questionnaire WHO/SMO/83.4. Specially designed antismoking health education modules were incorporated into the existing slots in the school curriculum and were administered by classroom teachers over a 6 week period. Pre and post (immediate, 6 months, and 2½ years) intervention KAP scores were compared between intervention and control schools.

Results: A total of 646 children consisting of 8 year old primary school and 13 year old secondary school children were studied in four centres throughout Malaysia. The prevalence of smoking was 9.4% in secondary schools and 6.2% in primary schools. The increase in mean KAP scores in intervention schools was significantly higher than control schools after intervention for both primary (p⩽0.001) and secondary (p⩽0.001) school children. In both groups, the mean KAP scores immediately and 6 months after intervention were significantly higher (p⩽0.001) in intervention compared with control schools. At 30 months post intervention the mean KAP score among secondary school children in intervention schools remained significantly higher than control schools (p = 0.006) but not among primary school children (p = 0.06). However, repeated measure ANOVA analysis showed significant differences in the mean KAP score (p⩽0.001) in both groups throughout the 3 year follow up period.

Conclusions: This purposely designed antismoking programme was proven effective in …

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