Background: This study explored the association between sexual health literacy (SHL) and preventive behaviors of pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among middle-school students during the COVID-19 outbreak to aid in the development of an informative program.
Methods: Mixed-method study with stratified two-stage cluster sampling was used to obtain 730 students from 20 middle schools in a rural province of Thailand. Online self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from February 2020 to February 2021. Two brainstorming sessions were conducted with a purposeful sample of 25 stakeholders. Multiple linear regressions were used to assess the relationships.
Results: The associated significant factors with the preventive behaviors were sex (b=2.06, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.05), nightlife (b=-2.33, 95% CI: -3.99, -0.67), drinking alcoholic beverages (b=2.24, 95% CI: -3.24, -1.23), sexual intercourse experience (b=-2.64, 95% CI: -4.56, -0.72), and SHL (b=0.12, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.16). The stakeholders recommended an edutainment online program via Facebook.
Conclusion: This study investigated factors associated with SHL and preventive behaviors among middle school students. The most effective variable in this model was SHL. Therefore, a trial of an online program emphasizing SHL improvement should be examined for effectiveness among these students and seems appropriate, considering their rural area context and middle-school status.