KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE (KAP) OF MEDICAL AND NON-MEDICAL STUDENTS TOWARDS MENSTRUATION
Ghader Ayman Koujan, Azza Alassaf and *Ammar Abdulrahman Jairoun
Background: Menstruation is a normal physiological process in the female reproductive life that signifies a transition from girlhood to womanhood. However this transitional period is accompanied by a change in the physical, psychological and social aspects of a woman’s life reflecting the culture, beliefs and menstrual-related misconception of Arab societies. Objectives: The study was conducted to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) towards menstruation among medical (MS) and non-medical (NS) students of Ajman University of Science and Technology, UAE and whether there are differences in knowledge, attitude and behaviors (KAP) towards menstruation between them Materials & Methods: A self-reported questionnaire was administered to a random sample of 300 students in Ajman University, divided into two groups (medical and non-medical) giving 150 participants each group. SPSS version 20 was used for data entry and analysis. Results: The results of this study demonstrated a good level of knowledge towards menstruation among students, yet there is a gap on the knowledge on some points where only 27% of students identified that menstruation is associated with weight gain. Mothers were found to be the major source of information on menstruation and this reflects the need to include mothers as a part of menstrual educational programs. As regards to student' attitude toward menstruation, students didn’t perceive menstruation as a debilitating event (2.5 ± 0.45) and bothersome event (2.45 ± 0.66) but on the other hand they didn’t perceive as a natural process (2.23± 0.76). Furthermore, they didn’t agree that they can anticipate their menstruation (2.3±0.64) and they have no strong feelings or that they have insufficient knowledge to deny the effect of it (3.02 ± 0.45). Concerning the practices and behaviors related to menstruation, self-medication with medicines and herbs is widely practiced by the study participants to control menstrual discomfort. Moreover, this study revealed that the role of health care providers in providing reproductive health information is underutilize where only 4.7% of the study participants consult a doctor or seek medical advice when they experience menstrual problems. Findings from this study showed that there was no significance difference between medical (MS) and non-medical students (NS) on knowledge, attitude and practice toward menstruation Conclusion: The results of the study emphasized the importance of introducing reproductive health education at the university level to help adolescent students manage menstrual symptoms, to enhance their awareness about the proper use and selection of OTC menstrual products and to advise them to seek medical advice when they experience menstrual problems
Keywords: Menstruation, knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, medical students, non-medical students.
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