Differences in the effects of anti-tobacco health education programme in the areas of knowledge, attitude and behaviour, with respect to nicotinism among boys and girls

Andrzej Szpak 1,  
Department of Public Health, Medical University of Bialystok, Poland
University Clinical Hospital, Białystok, Poland
Higher School of Public Health, Zielona Góra, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2013;20(1):173–177
Introduction. Health education used for increasing the effectiveness of intervention actions should cover a number of factors which exert an effect on learning. Objectve. Recognition of the extent to which gender may determine the effects of an anti-tobacco health education programme. Material and methods. The intervention study was undertaken in May 2007, and covered 859 first-year schoolchildren in Białystok. The sample was selected by means of two-stage stratified sampling with consideration of two groups: an intervention group and a control group. Results. In the group of girls, the 2-year educational programme resulted in an increase in knowledge concerning the negative effects of cigarette smoking by 21%, and being familiar with anti-tobacco actions and campaigns carried out in Poland by 24.5%. Among boys, an increase was observed only with respect to the knowledge of anti-tobacco actions and campaigns – by 10.7%. Considering the attitudes of girls after the completion of the programme, changes were noted with respect to three from among the six elements analyzed. However, among boys, after completion of the project, no changes were noted in any of the analyzed elements of attitude. In girls who participated in the anti-nicotine programme, the percentage of smokers did not increase, while an increase in this percentage was observed among girls of the control group and boys in both groups. Conclusions. Different effects of the 2-year anti-tobacco programme obtained in the area of knowledge, attitude and behaviour should constitute a premise for the modification of educational programmes from the aspect of the variety of methods, techniques and instruments which would be adequate for adolescents’ predispositions resulting also from their gender.