Pediculosis is a common parasitic infestation in students worldwide, including Iran. This condition is more prevalent in populous and deprived communities with poor personal hygiene. This study sought to assess the efficacy of peer education for adopting preventive behaviors against pediculosis in female elementary school students based on the Health Belief Model (HBM).
A total of 179 female fifth grade students were selected using multistage random sampling and were randomly allocated to control and intervention groups. A standard questionnaire was designed and administered to collect baseline information. An educational intervention was then designed based on the conducted needs assessment. The educational program consisted of three sessions, held by peers for the intervention group. The questionnaire was re-administered one month after the intervention. Independent and paired t-test, Pearson’s correlation coefficient, and regression analysis were applied as appropriate.
The two groups had no significant differences in the scores of knowledge, HBM constructs, or behavior before the intervention. After the intervention, however, the mean scores of all parameters significantly improved in the intervention group.
Peer education based on HBM is an effective strategy to promote preventive behaviors against pediculosis in among fifth grade female elementary school students in Iran.