original article

Vol. 9 No. 2

Role of Theatre for Development in Disseminating Information on HBV Infection in a Nigerian Community

December 2017

— Benson AA and Otegbayo JA

Abstract

Introduction: Developmental tools for disseminating information and raising awareness. It goes beyond performing plays and involves a target group as performers. This study considered the problem of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) within a university community in Nigeria and evaluated the effect of TfD interventions in improving awareness and knowledge of HBV.

Materials and Methods: A simple random sampling technique was used to select 200 respondents as sample size and a revalidated questionnaire was used as research instrument to collect data on HBV knowledge and awareness before and after TfD intervention in the form of a drama skit. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency counts for demographic profiling of the respondents, while simple percentages were adopted to test the hypotheses at 0.05 level of significance.

Results: The study revealed that TfD intervention significantly improved knowledge about HBV, risk factors for hepatitis, mode of transmission and Hepatitis B vaccine uptake, among others. It was also found that the medium of information on HBV was TfD in the majority of participants (31% to 66.5%), though a sizable number got information from friends. The vaccination status for HBV also rose from 4% to 12.5% over the
two-month period of study, while HBV screening increased from 4% to 10%, pre- and post-test respectively. Adequacy of knowledge about HBV rose from 14.5% at pre-test to 53% post-test, while inadequacy of knowledge decreased from 81% to 40%. Fewer participants were likely to seek more information about HBV from clinic and other mediums, due to the knowledge acquired after exposure to HBV through TfD intervention.
Majority agreed that TfD intervention disseminated important health information better than other media, with 85.5% strongly agreeing post-test, compared to 17% pre-test. Respondents also felt that less attention was given to HBV relative to other infectious diseases like HIV. On a rating scale of 1 to 10, where 10 was the highest rating, participants rated TfD higher at post-test compared to pre-test.

Conclusion: TfD effectively served as a tool for dissemination of knowledge, sensitisation, and health information, particularly, HBV. It is recommended that TfD should be a considered option in awareness generation to reduce the risk of HBV.

Keywords: Hepatitis B, Knowledge, Attitude, Theatre for development

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