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The association of sociodemographic characteristics and sexual risk behaviors with health literacy toward behaviors for preventing unintended pregnancy among university students

Authors Thongnopakun S, Pumpaibool T, Somrongthong R

Received 7 November 2017

Accepted for publication 6 December 2017

Published 23 February 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 149—156

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S156264

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Saowanee Thongnopakun, Tepanata Pumpaibool, Ratana Somrongthong

College of Public Health Sciences, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine whether there is an associated effect between sociodemographic characteristics and sexual risk behaviors with health literacy in preventing unintended pregnancy among university students in Chon Buri province, Thailand.
Participants and methods: A cross-sectional study design was used. The data were collected between February and May, 2017. A self-administered questionnaire was developed by the Ministry of Public Health and supported by the evolving concept of health literacy of Nutbeam. This questionnaire was then applied to collect data from 418 university students. Descriptive statistical and binary logistic regression methods were used for data analysis in this study.
Results: Half the students exhibited inappropriate behaviors to prevent unintended pregnancies. However, half the respondents had been educated to prevent unintended pregnancies. Nearly one-third of the students had experienced sexual intercourse. Binary logistic regression was used to analyze an association between the behavior for unintended-pregnancy prevention with sociodemographic characteristics and the health literacy of university students. The factors assessed were current residence type (the adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.897, 95% CI=1.123–3.205), previous sexual intercourse (aOR=3.263, 95% CI=1.735–6.139), cognitive health to prevent unintended pregnancy (aOR=1.095, 95% CI=1.019–1.176), decision skills in choosing appropriate practices to prevent unintended pregnancy (aOR=1.289, 95% CI=1.182–1.405), and self-management to prevent unintended pregnancy (aOR=1.113, 95% CI=1.005–1.232).
Conclusion: This study indicated that university students who had experienced sexual intercourse and had low health literacy were more likely to exhibit inappropriate behaviors concerning the lack of prevention of unintended pregnancies. The results will provide health professionals with information to develop more effective prevention and intervention programs.

Keywords: health literacy, behaviors for preventing unintended pregnancy, adolescent

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