Assessment of knowledge and attitude about emergency contraception: a cross sectional study among medical students in North India
Keywords:Attitude, Emergency contraception, Knowledge
Background: Emergency contraception (EC) which is the only method indicated after the unprotected sexual intercourse prevents unintended pregnancies and its harmful consequences like unsafe abortion or unintended child delivery. Since medical students are the future medical professional and would be the main channel to provide preventive, promotive and curative services to the population at large, their knowledge and attitude towards EC is an important context in the overall health scenario of India. The study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of medical students towards use of EC.
Methods: This cross sectional questionnaire based study was conducted among 2nd professional MBBS students in a Government Medical College in North India. The self administered questionnaire intended to seek information on knowledge and attitude of the students. The data so collected was expressed in percentages and Chi square test was used as test of significance.
Results: All the respondents had heard of EC with mass media as the main source of information. More than 90% of the respondents knew about the indications for use of EC as well as the timing of the use of EC. Female respondents had better knowledge about composition of EC as well mechanism of action (p<0.05). More than 90% would recommend EC in case of unprotected sexual intercourse and 83.5% had positive attitude towards EC.
Conclusions: Although knowledge about EC was good on certain parameters, yet lack of in depth knowledge among future health care providers is a cause of concern. So, attention be given to special issues relating to EC from early years of medical education till internship.
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