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Research Article

Public Health Midwives’ Perceptions, Challenges and Attitudes Towards Health Education on Vulvovaginal Discharge

Authors:

I.M.P.S. Ilankoon ,

Dept.of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura,Gangodawila, Nugegoda, LK
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C.S.E. Goonewardena,

Dept.of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, LK
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R.C. Fernandopulle,

3Dept.of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, LK
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P.P.R. Perera

Dept.of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Gangodawila, Nugegoda, LK
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Abstract

Background and Objective: Public Health Midwife (PHM) is the grass root level health care provider in the Sri Lankan health care system. This study was carried out to assess perceptions, challenges and attitudes of PHMs’ in educating women on vulvovaginal discharge (VVD) and their current health education activities on hygienic practices and behaviour changes among females aged 18 to 49 years.

 

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among all volunteering PHMs who work in the Colombo district, Sri Lanka. A self-developed, content validated, pre-tested, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse data using SPSS software version 21.

 

Results: A total of 308 PHMs participated and the mean age of the participants was 40 years (SD = 10). Thirty-six percent of the participants had work experience of more than 11 years. Majority of PHMs have performed health education activities during home visits (72.7%) and at clinics (66.2%). Most (97%) agreed that educating females on VVD is one of their primary responsibilities. Majority (70.7%) disagreed that “for most patients, health education does little to promote health-seeking behaviour” indicating positive attitudes towards health education. Nearly 17% of the participants rated their competency in providing health education on VVD as poor. Lack of available time (84.7%), teaching aids (75%) and women’s anxiety and shyness in asking questions or revealing health problems in the community (73.4%) were the major challenges faced during their health education on gynaecological health conditions.

 

Conclusions: The majority of the PHMs had positive attitudes towards health education on VVD. It is recommended that learning opportunities should be created in the form of training programmes. This will help in updating knowledge, skills and attitudes to meet the growing demand for quality health education and referral activities at the community level.

How to Cite: Ilankoon, I. M. P. S., Goonewardena, C. S. E., Fernandopulle, R. C., & Perera, P. P. R. (2022). Public Health Midwives’ Perceptions, Challenges and Attitudes Towards Health Education on Vulvovaginal Discharge. Sri Lankan Journal of Nursing, 1(1), 11–20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljn.v1i1.26
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Published on 12 Feb 2022.
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