The environment surrounding us makes changes in the patterns and prevalence of disease. Precocious puberty has become one clear health issue in Korea, showing a 4.4-fold increase in the past 5 years and threatening the reproductive health of young women. Behavior is habitual and guided by cognitive processes, and awareness and perception are essential for individuals to obtain information and to participate in optimal health behaviors. Therefore, it is necessary to provide proper education to the population of young women to help them maintain health behaviors throughout their lifespan. This study aims to develop an educational program to protect young women’s health from environmental hormones, which has two specific objectives: 1) to identify knowledge and behavioral patterns of exposure to endocrine disruptors, and 2) to validate the program using an expert group.
Design: A methodological study was designed; the first phase will use three strategies: cross-sectional survey, individual interviews, and a literature review. During the second phase of the study, a preliminary program will be produced by integrating the data from the first phase. The third phase will contain validation of the program by experts.
Sample and Setting: First, a convenience sample of 600 young women will be recruited for the cross-sectional survey from middle and high schools and colleges in W city in 2016. Individual interviews will be completed with 30 participants from each school age group. The literature review will utilize databases including MEDLINE, PubMed, and CINAHL. For the validation phase, an expert panel will be composed of one Ob-Gyn specialist, one medical doctor in preventive medicine, and three nursing researchers.
Measurement: For the survey, a structured questionnaire will be prepared to measure knowledge about endocrine disruptors and behavioral patterns of exposure to endocrine disruptors. For the interview, key questions for facilitators to ask and barriers to minimize exposure to endocrine disruptors will be incorporated. An expert panel will examine the tentative program for validity and applicability.
Results are anticipated early 2017 and will be presented at the Research Congress.
The conclusion will address each of the two objectives of this study.
“This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education(NRF-2015R1D1A3A01017746)”