Author

Jason Knight

Date of Award

11-10-2006

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Medical Doctor (MD)

First Advisor

William B Stewart

Abstract

To date, few high school based interventions have been shown to have lasting effects on adolescents' health behaviors. The need for health interventions targeting adolescents is underscored by data showing that several health behaviors with significant short and long term adverse effects begin in early adolescence and become progressively more prevalent toward late adolescence. This project tested the efficacy of a novel anatomy based health education curriculum at increasing health knowledge. The course was taught by first year Yale medical students. The curriculum placed emphasis on nutrition, physical activity and infectious disease. Forty Juniors from Career High School visited Yale's anatomy lab once every two weeks for ten hour-long sessions. In addition to visits to the anatomy lab, students completed two class projects, one covered nutrition and the other focused on exercise. Four additional sessions at Career High School were dedicated to the class projects. Pre and post test analysis showed an improvement in health knowledge with a thirteen percentage point improvement on a standardized health knowledge survey. The students' performance was compared to a control cohort of thirty-one students who were not exposed to the curriculum. Students exposed to the curriculum had a nineteen percentage point advantage compared to control students who had not been exposed. Curriculum efficacy as demonstrated by this small cohort validate further testing with larger cohorts and more vigorous controls as well as separate testing to measure changes in health behavior attributable to curriculum exposure.

Comments

This is an Open Access Thesis.

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