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Content analysis of health messages in Indian school textbooks

Author: 
Dr. Cauvery .Karbhari and Dr Naveen Karbhari
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Objectives: To identify the health messages based on scientific evidence and the priorities of health messages among Indian school textbooks. Materials and Methods: The health messages published in primary and secondary schools of CBSE and AP syllabus were included. The quality of content was compared with best health care practices which included EBM, EBD and consensus-based practices from the Trip database containing information that was classified in terms of evidence, such as clinical practice guides and systematic reviews. Results: 51 messages were identified among 179 textbooks used in primary and secondary schools. Among the books, there was a top priority for messages related to human health and related diseases (30%) followed by messages related to food and its habits, hygiene, nutrition and storage (25%). Around 69% of the messages were based on evidence without assigned level, and 21% were based on unknown evidence. Oral health messages occupied 6% of the total messages and most of them were based on evidence with assigned level. Conclusion: Majority of the health messages included in the textbooks were based on scientific evidence without assigned level and coverage on oral health, tobacco and alcohol abuse was found to be very minimal.

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