The European journal of contraception & reproductive health care : the official journal of the European Society of Contraception 2017 05 19() 1-9 doi 10.1080/13625187.2017.1323079
The aim of our study was to assess what students of the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine learn about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights, focusing particularly on their knowledge of accessibility to contraception and abortion legislation.
In this cross-sectional study, self-administered, anonymous questionnaires were administered to 760 first year students and to 695 final year students from different fields of study (medicine, midwifery, nursing, radiology, nutrition, speech therapy and physiotherapy) between 2011 and 2013. Students’ knowledge of SRH was measured according to six variables: contraceptive methods, accessibility to contraception, emergency contraception, legislation on surgical contraception, legislation on voluntary interruption of pregnancy, and HIV transmission and prevention. Their level of knowledge was categorised as low, basic, medium or high, according to their responses.
We observed higher levels of knowledge in final year students compared with first year students. Those with basic level knowledge or higher were doubled in most of the variables. However, when analysed in detail per field of study, the differences were not so marked. It is important that medical, midwifery and nursing students receive formal education in SRH topics.
Our investigation revealed important deficiencies in knowledge in core topics of SRH care among soon-to-be health care providers that could represent serious barriers to health and rights for the Argentinean population in the near future. Thus, there is an urgent need to improve the teaching of SRH care.