The acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of a population-based intervention to promote youth health: An exploratory study in Goa, India

Madhumitha Balaji, Teddy Andrews, Gracy Andrew, Vikram Patel

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Purpose To evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of a population-based intervention to promote health of youth (age: 1624 years) in Goa. Methods Two pairs of urban and rural communities were selected; one of each was randomly assigned to receive a multi-component intervention and the other wait-listed. The intervention comprised educational institution-based peer education and teacher training (in the urban community), community peer education, and health information materials. Effectiveness was assessed through beforeafter population surveys at baseline and at 18 months. Outcomes were measured using a structured interview schedule with all eligible youth. Logistic regression compared each pair, adjusted for baseline differences, on prevalence of outcomes in the domains of reproductive and sexual health (RSH), violence, mental health, substance use, and help seeking for health concerns. Results In both intervention communities, prevalence of violence perpetrated and probable depression was significantly lower and knowledge and attitudes about RSH significantly higher (p < .05). The rural sample also reported fewer menstrual complaints and higher levels of help-seeking for RSH complaints by women, and knowledge and attitudes about emotional health and substance use; and, the urban sample reported significantly lower levels of substance use, suicidal behavior, sexual abuse, and RSH complaints. Although information materials were acceptable and feasible in both communities, community peer education was feasible only in the rural community. The institution-based interventions were generally acceptable and feasible. Conclusions Multicomponent interventions comprising information materials, educational-institution interventions and, in rural contexts, community peer interventions are acceptable and feasible and likely to be effective for youth health promotion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-460
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 01-05-2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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