Directors: Antonio M. Battro and Kurt W. Fischer
Program officer: María Lourdes Majdalani
Effects of educational posters and leaflets on adolescents’ knowledge about sleep
Insufficient sleep, irregular sleep patterns and other unhealthy sleep related behaviors can influence different aspects of adolescents’ daytime functioning. One way to deal with these problems is to educate adolescents about the importance of sleep and healthy sleep habits. We organized sleep education of adolescents using two different methods: posters in elementary schools and leaflets in high schools, and tested their effects on adolescents’ knowledge about sleep.
The Poster Study was performed in 12 elementary schools on 5th to 8th grade students (mean age 12.3 years). The Leaflet Study was performed in 12 high schools on 1st to 4th grade students (mean age 16.1 years). In each study the participants were chosen using multistage sampling, and were randomly assigned into one of the four groups according to the Solomon design. Two groups received sleep education (education groups), and two did not (no-education groups). In one of the interventions- and one of the control groups sleep knowledge was tested twice (pre-tested groups). A total of 1105 students from elementary schools (50% females), and 1261 students from high schools (54% females) participated. Students answered the Sleep knowledge test, which was constructed for the purpose of these studies in accordance with information presented on the educational material. The questionnaire comprised 18 statements about sleep for elementary school students, and two additional statements for high school students. The students had to indicate whether each statement was true or false.
The differences in sleep knowledge between groups were tested by means of univariate analysis of variance with respect to sleep education, pre-testing, gender and grade.
Poster Study. In most grades there was no effect of exposure to educational poster on students’ knowledge about sleep, either in groups whose knowledge was previously tested or in groups whose knowledge was not pre-tested. The effect of gender on sleep knowledge depended on exposure to educational poster and it was additionally modified by pre-testing. Namely, female students showed better sleep knowledge than male students in the group of those who were exposed to educational poster but were not pre-tested, and in the group of those whose knowledge was previously tested but were not exposed to educational poster.
Leaflet Study. Students who received educational leaflets showed better sleep knowledge than students who did not receive leaflets. The effectiveness of leaflet was modified by grade: the effect was found for all, except for the 4th grade students. Furthermore, the effectiveness of leaflet was modified by pre-testing and additionally depended on gender. Namely, in male students the positive effect of educational leaflet was observed only in students who were not pre-tested. In female students there was a positive effect of educational leaflet both in students who were pre-tested and those who were not, and the effect was greater in pre-tested students.
The results indicated that educational posters were not efficient method for sleep education in elementary schools students. On the other hand, in high schools students educational leaflets could be considered an efficient method for sleep education. Additionally, it seems that the leaflet method was more effective in younger students as well as in female students.