The leading cause of death for girls aged 15-19 years globally is complications from pregnancy and childbirth. Girls have poor access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, including information.
To describe the accuracy of SRH information (SRHI) and its associated factors among adolescent girls in Uganda
We conducted a cross-sectional study among girls aged 13-19 years in an urban district and a rural district. The accuracy of SRHI was assessed using a set of 13 questions covering “sex and reproduction,” “condom use,” and “HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.” Accuracy was categorized as low (≤7 items correct), moderate (8-11 items correct), and high accuracy (≥12 items) according to the number of correct answers. Poisson regression analysis was used to determine factors associated with accurate SRHI using STATA version 14.
Of the 600 girls (mean age: 16.9 years; SD = 3.84), 75.3% were in school. The mean SRHI knowledge score was 9.9. The SRHI accuracy score was low among 6.3% of adolescents, moderate among 80.7%, and high among 13%. Parents with permissive parenting styles had adolescents with low SRHI accuracy compared with disciplinarian/authoritarian parents (IRR = 0.93 [0.885-0.987]; P = .004), whereas parents talking about sex with their adolescents was associated with accurate SRHI (IRR = 1.1 [1.051-1.153]; P < .001). Adolescents who had ever been pregnant had low SRHI accuracy (0.98 [0.911-0.989]; P = .019). There was no difference in SRHI accuracy between the urban and rural districts (P = .45).
The low accuracy of SRHI calls for interventions aimed at engaging and training parents, who are considered to be the first in line to provide accurate information to adolescents irrespective of their location. The interventions and training should be culturally appropriate, and parents need to be supported with skills aimed at demystifying SRHI.
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Published online: February 07, 2023
Accepted: January 30, 2023
Received in revised form: December 18, 2022
Received: September 28, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Journal Pre-Proof
© 2023 Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of North American Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.