Exploring college students’ sexual and reproductive health literacy

Cheryl A. Vamos, Erika L. Thompson, Rachel G. Logan, Stacey B. Griner, Karen M. Perrin, Laura K. Merrell, Ellen M. Daley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Objective: To assess college students’ sexual and reproductive health (SRH) literacy experiences, specific to contraception use and STI prevention. Participants: In Spring 2015, participants (n = 43) from a large institution participated in six focus groups (two male and four females groups). Methods: Focus groups were guided by the health literacy domains (access; understand; appraise; apply); data were analyzed in MaxQDA using the constant comparative method. Results: The Internet was the most commonly accessed source for SRH information. Participants discussed facilitators (eg, use of visuals) and barriers (eg, medical jargon) to understanding information; and personal lifestyle, advice from family/friends, symptoms, and sexual partners as appraisal factors. Participants applied information by communicating with friends/providers and seeking healthcare. However, findings were not linear nor mutually exclusive, representing the interaction of health literacy skills. Conclusion: Findings suggest that a patient-centered intervention capitalizing on technology and trusted individuals (providers/peer educators) may facilitate college students’ SRH literacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-88
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of American College Health
Volume68
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2020

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Keywords

  • Community health
  • counseling
  • health education

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