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Keywords

Condoms, HIV, Nursing, Sex education

 

Authors

  1. Norris, Anne E. PhD, RN, CS
  2. Beaton, Meredith M. BS, RN

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To examine knowledge regarding appropriate use of condoms and lubricants among three groups: female at-risk adolescents, nursing students, and education students.

 

Methods: Study participants were 236 adolescents: 65 recruited through community agencies, 79 female nursing students, and 92 female education students. These participants completed anonymous questionnaires concerning lubricants, general condom knowledge, and sexual experience.

 

Results: Neither nursing students nor education students were more knowledgeable than adolescents not enrolled in college. All participants were about as likely to think unsafe lubricants were safe as they were to think that safe lubricants were unsafe. Personal experience with vaginal intercourse and condom use was associated with increased knowledge (p < 0.05). However, 27% to 66% of participants who had used condoms answered the lubricant questions incorrectly.

 

Implications: Nursing students need more education about condoms and condom lubricants if they intend to teach patients effectively. Moreover, nurses should not assume that youth are knowledgeable about appropriate condom use based on their level of education or sexual experience.