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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 131-137

Effect of modified physiology laboratory sessions on the awareness and knowledge of obesity of health-related university students

Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Talay Yar
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, PO Box No: 2114, Dammam 31451
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_301_19

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BACKGROUND: Obesity is a global health problem of immense magnitude. Increased awareness and knowledge about obesity in health-care providers are essential to addressing this global issue. The aim of the present study was to assess the baseline knowledge on obesity of university students in health-related programs and evaluate the effectiveness of modified physiology laboratory (MPL) sessions in enhancing the awareness of obesity of these students by repeated exposure to physiological differences between normal weight (NW) and overweight or obese (OW/OB) individuals. MATERIALS AND METHODS: It was a quasi-experimental study in which three regular physiology laboratory exercises were modified (MPL) to address different aspects of obesity. A total of 319 students (181 male and 138 female) from health-related colleges taking the physiology course during academic session 2011–2012 were included in the study. A questionnaire on obesity served as a measure of prior knowledge and improvement of evolution of student knowledge. The questionnaire was administered thrice: Beginning of the first MPL session (pretest), at the end of the second session of the first MPL (posttest-1), and the end of second session of the final MPL (posttest-2). Correct knowledge (CK), perceived knowledge (PK), and accuracy of knowledge (KA) were evaluated. Students gathered and analyzed physiological data in these sessions to explore the differences between NW and OW/OB subjects. RESULTS: The students' level of PK on obesity was high, but KA was low in pretest. The three knowledge indices improved significantly (P <0.001) from pretest (PK = 77.2%; KA = 52.8%; CK = 40.5%) to posttest 1 (PK = 93.5%; KA = 70.1%; CK = 65.9%). However, from posttest 1 to posttest 2, only small but significant increments were observed in CK (10.5%) and KA (8.7%). CONCLUSION: The awareness and knowledge on obesity of health-related undergraduate university students at baseline were low, but significantly improved after MPLs. The students' knowledge did not only increase but also improved in accuracy. This increase in awareness and knowledge of obesity is expected to directly impact on the students' lifestyles and boost their confidence to counsel others on obesity.

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Journal of Family and Community Medicine | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 05th September, 2010