Document Type : Original Article


1 Isfahan University of Medical Sciences

2 School of Medicine, Isfahan of Medical University, Isfahan, Iran

3 Department of Community and Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Reproductive Sciences and Sexual Health Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


BACKGROUND: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have always been considered as a health
problem in the world. Also, vulnerable women (addicts, jail breakers, and prostitutes) are at the highest
risk. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) approach, the only effective way to prevent
and control this disease is public health education, and high‑risk and vulnerable groups should be
prioritized in educational programs. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of health belief
model (HBM)‑based education on changing the behaviors related to STIs in vulnerable women.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present study is an intervention (field trial) study in vulnerable
women. Convenience sampling method was used in this study and the sample size was determined
to be 84 subjects. Through tossing a coin, the social support center was selected as the intervention
group and the drop‑in center as the control group. Quantitative data analysis was performed, and
descriptive and inferential statistical methods were used.
RESULTS: The mean scores of perceived threat, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and
perceived self‑efficacy and changes in performance between the three measurement stages, as
well as changes in the scores of perceived threat, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, and
perceived self‑efficacy over three measurement times were significantly different between the two
groups (interaction) (P < 0.001). The mean score of performance 3 months after the intervention
was significantly higher than before the intervention (P = 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The present study confirmed the effectiveness of the HBM in promoting behavioral
modifiers that lead to STIs. Therefore, educational interventions with emphasis on understanding
the threats, benefits, barriers, and self‑efficacy and, ultimately, performance improvement in relation
to STIs are recommended.


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