Does Educational Digital Storytelling Intervention help increase adolescents’ HIV risk perception?
BY OTU MKPOIKANKE SUNDAY
Dr. Theresa Ofoegbu and I have found that Educational Digital Storytelling Intervention (EDSI) is effective in increasing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk perception and knowledge among adolescents in Nigeria. This unexpected finding indicated that educational technologists, counsellors, psychologists, and medical professionals should consider the development and implementation of EDSI to increase HIV risk perception and knowledge in different sectors of society.
EDSI can be structured to cover 16 sessions over 8 weeks and to feature a rational emotive psychoeducational audio-visual intervention about HIV. The aim of the EDSI should be to help adolescents learn from and about other people’s HIV-related lived experiences to increase their HIV risk perception. The EDSI can be delivered by therapists who are experts in the use of digital storytelling and HIV interventions and who have qualifications in educational technology, psychology, social work, medicine, and counselling.
Please take note that, whenever EDSI is used, its impact should be measured using a scientific procedure. From my experience, a group-randomized controlled trial design procedure involving pre-test, post-test and follow-up is ideal. Following this procedure, the participating adolescents should be randomly assigned to either a treatment group or a control group using computer-generated random numbers. Thereafter, the participating adolescents in the treatment group should receive the EDSI while those in the control group should be given no intervention. Pre-test, post-test and follow-up data for the two groups should be collected and subjected to a repeated-measures analysis of variance by experts. The results of the analysis will serve as the basis for determining the impact of EDSI.
EDSI is an innovative and easy-to-use approach. It can be applied in many settings including hospitals, schools, tertiary institutions, rehabilitation centers, and industries. It is particularly necessary to adopt this approach in these settings because evidence showed that many adolescents operating in these settings have a low level of HIV risk perception and knowledge. Evidence also showed that the adolescents who are exposed to unprotected, unwanted and untimely sex are victims or potential victims of HIV, abortion, unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, suicide and death. Also, there is evidence that the traditional methods of spreading HIV risk perception and knowledge are no longer appreciated by adolescents in the 21st century. Therefore, it is better to use EDSI to help increase adolescents’ HIV risk perception and knowledge in all settings.