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Brazilian Journal of Psychiatry

Print version ISSN 1516-4446On-line version ISSN 1809-452X

Abstract

MOREIRA, Fernanda Gonçalves; SILVEIRA, Dartiu Xavier da  and  ANDREOLI, Sérgio Baxter. Knowledge and attitudes related to drug abuse and prevention displayed by public school educators. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2009, vol.31, n.2, pp.95-100. ISSN 1516-4446.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462009000200003.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the connection between knowledge about and the attitudes towards drug abuse by students displayed by public school educators in Brazil. METHOD: Cross-sectional study, with probabilistic sampling encompassing 20% of the municipal elementary schools located in the city of São Paulo from which educators were enrolled to answer three questionnaires: 1) professional and personal data; 2) assessment of their attitudes in drug abuse situations; 3) assessment of their knowledge on drug abuse. RESULTS: Considering possible values between -17 and +21, professionals scored 11.5 ± 3.8 in the Attitudes scale. These values correspond to more empathic attitudes. Scores in the Knowledge on Drugs Scale were 55.2 ± 12.5 (possible values: 0 to 100). Correlation between the Attitudes Scale and the time spent working as education professionals was -0.288 (p < 0.01). The difference in the means in the Attitude Scale according to professional academic qualifications was statistically significant (-1.93, t = 2.26; gl = 80; p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: The level of knowledge about drugs displayed by educators was average and not influenced by the professional's academic qualifications. In contrast, their attitudes were predominantly empathic and directly associated to their academic qualifications and inversely associated to the amount of time they had spent in that position.

Keywords : Drugs; Substance-related disorders; Health education; Knowledge; Questionnaires.

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