Jitsai Lawantrakul and Pranee Pongpaiboon, Assistant Professors Faculty of Nursing Prince of Songkla University, Jitti Lawantrakul, Obstetrician & Gynecologist Hatyai Hospital, Sopen Chunuan, Associate
Professor Faculty of Nursing Prince of Songkla University, Thailand.
Adolescents’ sexual behavior leads to the problem of unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions, which contributes significantly to maternal morbidity and mortality The purposes of this descriptive study were to explore the levels of knowledge, experiences, and opinions of Emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) of undergraduate students in a University in Southern Thailand.
The subjects were undergraduate students from the Prince of Songkla University, Thailand. The sample size was determined using Yamane’s equation and there were 200 participants. The questionnaire was developed by researchers with KR-20 (0.78). The subjects completed a questionnaire dealing their demographic characteristics, knowledge about ECPs, experiences of using ECPs, and their opinions of ECPs.
The results revealed that the subjects’ knowledge level was moderate (55%). Most of the subjects (84.5 %) had heard about ECPs. Only 7 % had ever used them and nearly half of the users (42.86 %) had experienced side effects of ECPs. The sources of subjects’ knowledge were schools, friends, internet, journals or magazines. As to preferred sources, the subjects would like to get information from friends and health personnel. Regarding who should give information about ECPs, they favored health personnel especially pharmacists, physicians, and nurses. As to opinions about ECPs, they agreed that adolescents should have knowledge about ECPs and know how to use them. They disagreed that male adolescents should be the ones to decide to use ECPs for their partners.
This study provided the information that the level of adolescents’ knowledge was moderate and they need more information and accurate knowledge from health personnel. Thus, health personnel, especially nurses, should take a proactive role in educating, advocating, and supporting adolescents and the general population by providing information about ECPs.