Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are considered to be the plague of the 21st century. Over a million infection cases occur daily, and in many cases, the infected ones trade diseases between each other (World Health Organization, 2016). These diseases are insidious, as many people are not even aware of their condition until the moment they experience adverse effects. To prevent further infections, education is important. As the population becomes more sexually active, it is paramount to educate young men and women about sexually transmitted diseases and the importance of contraception (Aral, Fenton, & Lipshutz, 2013). The following clinical question addresses the matters of preventive care and education:
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Is more advantage obtained from patient education regarding STDs when it is maintained by nurses rather than by social workers?
It is suggested that education provided by nursing professionals will have better outcomes because they have a background in nursing and medicine, unlike social workers. Alternatively, it could be possible that social workers would lend better results due to more experience in dealing with reckless and sexually active youth.
As it stands, education regarding STDs is performed largely by social workers, who may or may not have an in-depth understanding of the disease that a nurse professional has. The proposed intervention involves nurses offering sexual education and information about STDs, possible symptoms, and measures of protection, followed by comparing the results of the performance with those achieved by social workers within 6 months.
The expected potential outcome is that the education provided by nurses would be more effective than those offered by social workers. Nurses have a deeper understanding of STDs due to medical education and can offer more insight on the subject. Also, the social status of a nurse as a medical worker could potentially have an impact on the populace, as any information provided by them would be taken more seriously.
The null hypothesis for this research states that there will be no significant statistical difference between the results lent by either nurses or social workers. Should the null hypothesis be supported by the results of the research, it could be theorized that the level of understanding and the social position of the information provider does not play a role in sexual education and that other factors contribute to the quality of education.
The outcomes will be analyzed depending on the results of the questionnaires filled out by the participants before the intervention and 6 months after the intervention.
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Statistical Analysis and Data Collection Tools
This research uses convenience sampling to gather participants, who would be willing to participate in the study. It is a forced measure, due to the delicate and highly personal nature of the inquiry. The participants would be picked among sexually active adolescents and young adults who indulge in frequent sexual activities involving one partner or more, as well as people engaged in prostitution. The main data collection tool would be the questionnaire. It will be used to measure the participants’ knowledge before and after the intervention. The results of the questionnaires would be processed via specialized statistical software to get the results. The main statistical method applied for this research would be the Z-test (Philbrick, 2013). It is a standard statistical tool used to determine the population means in large samples. It is preferable to the Student’s T-test, as that one is preferable for samples with 30 participants or less (Philbrick, 2013).
As this research deals with highly sensitive and confidential information, it is paramount to protect the anonymity of the participants. As such, any demographic data used in the research will be kept to a minimum, and include only the participants’ gender. Additional data, such as year of birth, locality of birth, social and economic backgrounds, and other information would be entirely optional, and the respondents would not be obligated to include these in their questionnaires.
It is expected that the general level of knowledge about sexually transmitted diseases and ways of protection would increase in both groups. While general levels of knowledge before the intervention are likely to vary, the overall scores after the intervention should be somewhat similar among the participants of either group. At the same time, it is expected that the test group, where the nurses provided sexual education and information, would show better results 6 months after the intervention.
This is because nurses have a deeper understanding of the subject when compared to the social worker and would be able to answer more difficult and elaborate questions. It is also theorized that having a doctor or a nurse instead of a social worker would improve the attention span of the participants, which would lead to better long-term results. Alternatively, it is possible that the social worker group would show better results when compared to the nurse-led group because social workers have more hands-on experience in dealing with sexually reckless young adults.
Aral, S.O., Fenton, K.A., & Lipshutz, J.A. (2013). The new public health and STD/HIV prevention. GA, USA: Springer.
Philbrick, V. (2013). John Hopkins nursing evidence-based practice: Model and guidelines, 2nd ed. AORN Journal, 97(1), 157-158.
World Health Organization. (2016). Sexually transmitted infections fact sheet.