Medical Students’ Knowledge, Awareness, Perceptions, and Practice Regarding Contraceptive Use in Vietnam

Trung Quang Vo


Context: The danger of unintended pregnancies and the difficulties associated with abortions remain high due to the inefficiency in terms of contraceptive use that results from a lack of general knowledge and awareness coupled with misconceptions on the part of health-care providers. Aims: This study, therefore, aimed to explore the knowledge, awareness, perceptions, and practice regarding contraceptive use among Vietnamese medical students. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 695 medical students, including 311 students attending public universities and 384 students attending private universities, in Vietnam between January 2017 and April 2017. Materials and Methods: The utilized questionnaire was divided into five parts, namely, the students’ demographic data as well as their knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and practice regarding contraception. Results: Among the 695 participating medical students, there were 225 (32.4%) males and 470 (67.6%) females. Some 585 (84.5%) students were studying at the bachelor’s level, while only 110 (15.8%) were studying at the diploma level. The contraceptive-related knowledge was comparatively higher among the 5th-year students (P < 0.001), the students studying at the bachelor’s level (P < 0.001), and the students attending public universities (P < 0.001) when compared to their respective counterparts. The mean knowledge score was 5.18 ± 1.30, while the average awareness score was 19.55 ± 3.51. A large proportion of participants agreed or strongly agreed (86.6%) that healthcare providers should provide counseling concerning contraceptive methods. More than half of the students (55%) agreed that there had been a general change in the male attitude toward using contraceptives, while only 66 (9.5%) agreed that using contraceptive methods is complicated. Further, 177 (25.5%) students had previously used contraception, with condoms (132) being the most commonly used method. Conclusions: Overall, it was observed that the majority of Vietnamese medical students exhibited great knowledge, perceptions, awareness, and practice regarding contraception. This study, hence, suggests that future studies should be conducted in different medical schools nationwide to bolster the present findings.

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