Knowledge, attitude and practice of standard days method of contraception among first year female undergraduate students at Makerere University.
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Introduction High rate of unintended pregnancies is still a major challenge globally resulting from the unmet need for contraception. There are still many women especially in low income Countries who want to prevent pregnancy but are barred from using modern methods of contraception by factors like cost, concern of safety and side effects of these contraceptives. Standard days method of contraception (SDM) being free from cost and side effects, is an opportunity of overcoming some of these barriers and hence reduce on the burden of unplanned conceptions. Also young women generally have limited access than older individuals to family Planning methods. This study aimed at determining knowledge, attitude, practice and factors associated with knowledge about SDM among first year female undergraduate students at Makerere University. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at Makerere University in the halls of residence and hostels housing the first year female undergraduate students for three weeks. A team of well trained research assistants interviewed the eligible participants who provided data on socio demographic characteristics, knowledge, attitudes and practice of SDM. Statistical analysis of the data was performed using STATA version 12. Baseline characteristics were summarised: continuous data was summarized as the mean and the categorical variables as proportions. Bivariate analysis was done using logistic regression. In order to determine the factors associated with knowledge, we dichotomised the knowledge of the respondents into 1 if the participant had low knowledge and 0 if the participant was sufficiently knowledgeable. We then performed logistic regression analysis initially starting with bivariate analysis followed by multivariate analysis for the factors that were significant at xi bivariate (p value of less than 0.2) and factors known to affect knowledge from the previous studies. The level of significance was set at a p value of 0.05 or less. We reported the associations using odds ratios and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals. Results A total of 380 first year female undergraduate students participated in the study. The average age of participants was 20.9 (SD 1.6). Most of the participants were Ugandans (97.6%) and the most predominant faith was Christianity (77.9%). Three quarters of the participants (75.5%) had ever heard about SDM and the main means of hearing about it was through friends (33.8%) followed by television (16.9%). The overall knowledge about SDM was 57.9%. Overall, the participants had positive attitude towards SDM; many reported that it has no side effects (63.5%), would recommend it to a friend as a method of contraception (45.6%), and would be supportive to a friend inquiring about it (70.4%). However, the level of practice (28.9%) was relatively low despite their knowledge of SDM. The only factor that was independently associated with adequate knowledge about SDM was prior education about family planning. Conclusion Knowledge about SDM was relatively high but the practice was sub-optimal among the first year female undergraduate students at Makarere University. Interventions that promote translation of knowledge into practice of SDM are urgently needed at Makerere University.