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Eur J Contracept Reprod Health Care. 2017 Jun;22(3):233-241. doi: 10.1080/13625187.2017.1323079. Epub 2017 May 19.

Health care students at an Argentinean school of medicine: are they well prepared to provide quality sexual and reproductive health services?

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a Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine , University of Buenos Aires , Buenos Aires , Argentina.
b Institute of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine , University of Oslo , Oslo , Norway.
c Division of Women , Rikshospitalet, Oslo University Hospital , Oslo , Norway.



The aim of our study was to assess what students of the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine learn about sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and rights, focusing particularly on their knowledge of accessibility to contraception and abortion legislation.


In this cross-sectional study, self-administered, anonymous questionnaires were administered to 760 first year students and to 695 final year students from different fields of study (medicine, midwifery, nursing, radiology, nutrition, speech therapy and physiotherapy) between 2011 and 2013. Students' knowledge of SRH was measured according to six variables: contraceptive methods, accessibility to contraception, emergency contraception, legislation on surgical contraception, legislation on voluntary interruption of pregnancy, and HIV transmission and prevention. Their level of knowledge was categorised as low, basic, medium or high, according to their responses.


We observed higher levels of knowledge in final year students compared with first year students. Those with basic level knowledge or higher were doubled in most of the variables. However, when analysed in detail per field of study, the differences were not so marked. It is important that medical, midwifery and nursing students receive formal education in SRH topics.


Our investigation revealed important deficiencies in knowledge in core topics of SRH care among soon-to-be health care providers that could represent serious barriers to health and rights for the Argentinean population in the near future. Thus, there is an urgent need to improve the teaching of SRH care.


Health care students’ knowledge; contraception knowledge; medical education; sexual and reproductive health; sexual and reproductive rights

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