Evaluation of efficacy of providing hygiene education to schoolchildren and students in the process of development of the safe electronic device use skills

About authors

Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Svetlana V. Markelova
ul. Ostrovityanova, 1, Moscow, 117997; ur.umsr@vs_avolekram

About paper

Author contribution: OYu Milushkina, NA Skoblina — research planning and management, material processing, authoring; AB Moiseev — authoring; AA Alsabunchi, SV Markelova, AA Tatarinchik — literature data analysis, material collection and processing, authoring; PO Savchuk, OV Ievleva — material collection.

Compliance with ethical standards: the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University (Minutes #159 of November 21, 2016), conducted in compliance with the ethical standards provided by the Declaration of Helsinki and the European Community Directives (8/609 EU). Each participant signed a voluntary informed consent form. The participating adults (parents and teachers) were polled voluntary with the help of an online service.

Received: 2020-11-06 Accepted: 2020-12-17 Published online: 2020-12-29

The negative impact of the digital environment on the health of young people necessitates the search for new methods of hygienic education. This study aimed to test and assess the hygienic qualities of the practice designed to give students and schoolchildren the skills allowing safe use of electronic devices. The study involved 256 students, 200 senior schoolchildren, 400 teachers and 251 parent. The hygienic education practice relied on the healthy lifestyle materials published in scientific literature, as well as materials posted on the Internet resources of medical organizations professionally engaged in the area considered, as well as their groups in the social networks Odnoklassniki, VKontakte, Facebook, Instagram, etc. We observed physical development of the schoolchildren and students dynamically and polled schoolchildren, students, teachers, and parents. For statistical processing of the results, we used methods of descriptive statistics, Student's t-test, correlation, discriminant and cluster analysis, and calculated risks. As the most popular source of information about health maintenance, Internet scored as follows: among schoolchildren — 79.0%, students — 88.6%, parents — 64.9%, teachers — 50.4%. The tested hygienic education practice allowed for a reduction of the number of schoolchildren and students who did not have the skills to safely use electronic devices to 20 and 25%, respectively. The practice also taught the participants to reduce their daily smartphone use time, engage in physical activity more often, which ultimately increased the share of children whose physical development was normal (p ≤ 0.01), and helped to increase the duration of night sleep. The tested methods of education are not costly; they can be replicated in other regions and organizations.

Keywords: students, schoolchildren, electronic devices, rules of use, hygiene education, assessment of the effectiveness