Impact of an education intervention on knowledge of high school students concerning substance use in Kurdistan Region-Iraq: A quasi-experimental study
and aims Substance use among adolescents especially smoking, is becoming a public health problem in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. School-based health education is an appropriate approach for improving students' knowledge regarding substance use in an attempt to prevent or reduce such problem The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of an educational intervention for high school students to improve their knowledge for substance use and its negative consequences, which will, in turn,
... h will, in turn, motivate students to take protective measures against substance use. Methods This quasi-experimental (one group; pre, and post-test) design was carried out in Erbil city from January 2017 to June 2017. A random sampling technique was employed to collect a sample of 280 students amongst four high schools in Erbil city which is the capital of Kurdistan Region-Iraq. A self-administered questionnaire on knowledge assessment regarding substance use was developed and validated by the experts regarding the relevance of the items. A structured teaching program for imparting knowledge on various aspects of substance use was developed based on extensive review of literature and experts' opinion. The intervention program consisted of a series of 4 education modules. These modules were mainly taught by "Rabers" over a period of four weeks (one session per week). SPSS version 21 was used for data entry and analysis. Data was analyzed through descriptive and inferential statistics (McNemar tests, paired t-test, and Chi-square test). Results Out of 280 students, a total of 270 students completed a pre and post-intervention survey. Of the 270 students, 124 (45.9%) were males and 146 (54.1%) were females. The mean age ± SD of the participants was 16.59 ± 0.784 years, ranging from 15-18 years. The study reveals a statistically significant improvement in the mean score of knowledge of students following the implementation of a health education program from 15.959 ± 3.25 to 20.633 ± 3.26 (p < 0.001). Moreover, no one of the students remained with poor knowledge, and relatively more than half (50.2%) of the students have upgraded to good knowledge level. Conclusion Implementing a health education program about substance use on high school students in Erbil city had improved the knowledge of students about this topic.