Prevalence and Determinants of the Utilization of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in the Teen Health Kiosk of a Public Secondary School in the City of Dasmariñas
Objective. Despite the provision of local health policies promoting the utilization of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services of adolescents, SRH services utilization remains very low and little information is known concerning the factors which may influence adolescents’ use of these SRH services. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and determinants of school-based SRH services utilization among secondary school students.
Materials and Methods. This is a cross-sectional study that used a self-administered questionnaire to gather data among students in one public secondary school in the City of Dasmariñas. A total of 24 sections from Grades 8 to 12 were randomly selected using stratified cluster sampling. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data using Epi Info version 184.108.40.206.
Results. Among 1,218 students who answered the questionnaire, 168 students (13.8%) utilized the SRH services in the Teen Health Kiosk (THK) during SY 2019-20. Students with favorable attitudes towards SRH issues (predisposing factor) were twice more likely to utilize the SRH services (Adjusted odds ratio, AOR 1.75, 95% CI 1.12–2.74) and those who have positive perceived accessibility on the SRH services (enabling factor) were 2.5 times more likely to utilize the SRH services (AOR 2.46, 95% CI 1.66 – 3.66).
Conclusion. Attitudes towards SRH issues and perceived accessibility to SRH services were found to be determinants of SRH services utilization in the THK of the selected public secondary school in the City of Dasmariñas. Even with the marked increase in the utilization of SRH services in the THK from 0.2% in SY 2018–19 to 13.8% in SY 2019–20, intensified efforts are still needed in order to target students’ attitudes on SRH and accessibility of THK and the SRH services it offers to its clients. It is recommended that the existing THK Club be strengthened as this will play a significant role in changing the attitudes of students towards SRH issues, thus increasing the utilization of SRH services. Additionally, formulating an SRH policy at the school level targeting THK’s accessibility will be helpful in increasing the utilization of school-based SRH services. For one, a policy mandating THK service providers to deliver services beyond school hours may be discussed such that it can also cater students who are attending the school during weekends (i.e. ALS students, Open High students). Likewise, policy makers in the City Schools Division Office including their top management and personnel from the Health and Nutrition Unit as well as school administrators must endeavor to provide a more conducive THK where privacy and confidentiality can be maintained at all times and clients can freely discuss SRH issues with the THK service provider. An initiative to provide a separately detached room for the THK is encouraged in order to provide a more suitable counselling area and to ensure privacy and confidentiality of student clients and their shared information.