What do male medical students know about the pill? study of knowledge and attitudes at the University of Belgrade.

Abstract

BACKGROUND Women have been traditionally more involved in birth control than men. The purpose of this survey is to analyze knowledge of and attitudes towards oral contraceptives (OC) use in a population of male medical students of the Faculty of Medicine, Belgrade, Serbia. METHODS In November/December 2011, a total of 237 male medical students were recruited at the Faculty of Medicine before the start of compulsory practical sessions in their classrooms. Data were obtained through a 26-item questionnaire regarding knowledge of and attitude towards OC use. RESULTS Less than a half (40.4%) had a partner and 3.2% did not know whether their partner used the pill. Approximately one fifth of the students (28.5%) did not inform themselves about the pill at all. The average knowledge score differed according to the relationship status (Z = -3.414, p = 0.001). The average attitude score did not statistically differ according to the relationship status (Z = -1.384, p = 0.166). An advanced study year was statistically associated with higher knowledge and attitude scores (ρ = 0.575, p < 0.001; ρ = 0.206, p = 0.002, respectively). CONCLUSION Our students demonstrated a moderate level of comprehension. The results of our study indicate that the use of the OC pill needs further promotion to raise awareness of male involvement in health-related decisions of their partners.

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