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N Z Med J. 2000 Jun 9;113(1111):215-7.

Communicating information about sore throats and rheumatic fever to South Auckland high-school students.

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Department of Psychology, University of Auckland.



The present study examined the effectiveness of three modes of communication designed to increase high school students' knowledge about throat infections and rheumatic fever in a high risk area.


The study was part of an evaluation of a rheumatic fever prevention programme that has established 27 school-based 'sore throat' clinics in South Auckland. The rationale for the clinics was explained to students through: assemblies conducted by public health nurses, written information sheets and classroom lessons. The effectiveness of each communication mode was assessed by comparing the knowledge of students from eight classes at an intervention school with eight classes at a control school before and after the intervention school students received the teaching.


Students at the intervention school showed a significant improvement in knowledge compared to students at the control school. The assembly presentations by health professionals were more effective in informing students than information sheets or classroom lessons.


This study suggests that presentations by health professionals are an effective method of teaching basic health information to students in these South Auckand secondary schools. Classroom teachers need to be provided with appropriate resources, if they are to provide effective instruction. Written information sheets should not be relied on.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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