Knowledge and Attitudes on First Aid among Advanced Level Students in Gampaha Educational Zone, Sri Lanka

Author(s): Alahakoon P V, Perera P K, Wijesundara C, Bandaranayaka K O

First aid is the initial care given in an emergency, to protect life and to prevent worsening of the condition of the victims, until they are undertaken by a professional medical person. This research was done to assess the knowledge, attitudes and practices on first aid among advanced level students in government schools in Gampaha educational zone. A descriptive cross-sectional study using a pretested questionnaire was self-administered to collect the data among grade 12 students (n=510) in five randomly selected schools. Chi-square test was used to assess the associations and a p-value <0.05 was considered as significant. Student’s mean first aid knowledge was 57.4±13.5 while 1% (n=5) were categorized as having “inadequate knowledge”, 30.6% (n=156), 61.4% (n=313) and 7.1% (n=36) were having “moderate”, “good” and “excellent” knowledge respectively. Only 16.9% (n=86) of the students were previously trained in first aid. Positive attitudes towards first aid were found and 98.8% students (n=504) believed it is essential to have first aid knowledge. A weak correlation was found between the knowledge and attitudes (r=0.134). Biology stream students were significantly more knowledgeable than others (χ2=31.7, p<0.001). A significantly higher knowledge score was found in the students who had followed health science in their O/L (χ2=12.4, p=0.006). However, gender and previous training on first aid had no significant relationship with their knowledge (p>0.05). Addition of first aid as a part of the school curriculum and improving the standards of the existing first aid training programs is recommended.

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