The Effects of a Health Belief Teaching Strategy


Name: Arthur Johnson

Rank: Col, USAFR

Organization: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Performance Site: The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX

Year Published: 1993

Abstract Status: Completed


HIV and AIDS have challenged health professionals to find educational strategies that increase knowledge and reduce high-risk behaviors. The aim of this study was to determine if an HIV/AIDS curriculum for Reserve Office Training Corps (ROTC) college students based on the health-belief model, increased knowledge and decreased high-risk behaviors.Subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental or a control group. All had classes on HIV/AIDS, but the experimental curriculum was based on the health-belief model. Subjects completed the Demographic Data Sheet, Knowledge of HIV/AIDS Test, HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors, and HIV/AIDS Health Belief Instruments before and after the class.The experimental group included 142 males and 48 females, the control group, 157 males and 32 females; 84% were aged 18-22 years; 2.5% considered themselves homosexual; 97.5% were single; 6.4% were Hispanic, 80.3% non-Hispanic Caucasian, 3.2% African American, 2.5% Asian, and 6.4% other race/ethnicity.Males' mean scores on the HIV/AIDS Knowledge Test were 69.06 for the controls, 64.27 for the experimental group; females' mean scores were 68 for controls and 67 in the experimental group. Groups did not differ significantly in knowledge gains, but subjects' knowledge increased significantly in both.Only 55.4% knew early signs and symptoms of HIV infection; 36.5% believed most infected with HIV develop AIDS within 1 or 2 years. Only 33.2% knew that female homosexuals had the lowest infection incidence. More than 49% thought females must have vaginal sex to be infected. More than 35% did not know the safest way to use a condom. More than 80% knew sex without a condom and needle sharing are high-risk behaviors.Experimental group males significantly reduced risk behaviors over a 3-month period; controls did not. This difference was significant. Among females, risk behavior changes between groups were also significant; the experimental group reduced risk behaviors more than controls.


Final Report is available on NTRL: