Published: 2017-01-17

Health awareness and behavior among adolescent students in a rural school: a cross sectional observational study

Varshil Mehta, Anusha Bhat


Background: Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to many health issues. Studies in Indian literature have documented low health awareness and many health related issues in adolescents. The aim and objective of the study was to evaluate health awareness and behavior among adolescents studying in a rural school in Maharashtra, India.

Methods: A cross-sectional, quantitative, observational questionnaire-based survey was conducted among high school students between 15 to 19 years of age studying at a local rural school in Maharashtra, India. The questionnaire assessed health awareness and behavior related to (a) exercise and nutrition; (b) malnutrition and obesity; (c) tobacco and (d) sexually transmitted diseases (HIV/AIDS).

Results: The overall response rate of survey was 92.72%. Out of 102 students surveyed, 58.82 % (60) were males and 41.18 % (42) were females. 93.13% students were aware of importance of exercise on health and 70.58% devoted time for exercise & recreational activities. 85.29% students were aware of the ill effects of Malnutrition and Obesity. 85.29% were aware of ill effects of taking Tobacco and only 4.90% consumed tobacco. 98.04 % were aware of Sexually transmitted diseases and 90.19 % knew the correct route of spread.

Conclusions: Overall, the health awareness among adolescent students was high. Males tend to be more aware about the importance of exercise on health while females were more aware about the ill effects of taking tobacco. Further qualitative studies should be conducted to identify potential adolescent issues so that an intervention can be planned at school, community and home level.



Adolescent, Health awareness, Rural

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