A quasi experimental community intervention in primary school by Pharmacy students of the University of Costa Rica
Luis jimenez herrera, Marcelle Richards Pecou, Mauricio Gomez Briceño
Background: Children are a vulnerable group of the social phenomenon of drugs. Hence, community interventions are needed to strengthen protective factors and help children to stay out of the world of drugs. The objective of this work is to describe a quasi-experimental community intervention that tried to reinforce in the students of the visited schools the role they have to decide on the actions that are beneficial to their well-being and to distance themselves from the consumption of drugs, this was through an artistic work developed by the students of Pharmacy. Methodology: In the first academic year 2017, a group of twenty-three students with teaching support from the Healthy Styles of Pharmacy course at the University of Costa Rica, developed a quasi-experimental community intervention through an artistic work (theater play) of the staging of a play entitled "I am who decide", which describes situations that exemplify some abilities for the life. The schools were not selected at random because their choice was facilitated by pharmacists working in the Social Security of Costa Rica, in both schools the intervention was executed and only a questionnaire was applied to know if the children had captured the messages implicit in the artistic work. Results:A total of 167 children (42% male, 58% female) between 11 and 15 years old (only two adolescents older than 12 years old) from the sixth year of primary education, 128 children at the Finca Guarari school and 39 children at the Barreal school; Both located in the province of Heredia, Costa Rica. The script of the work and an instrument with eight key questions were elaborated by students with teaching support from the Faculty of Pharmacy. The work is developed in an interactive way and describes the experiences of school children who must make decisions; it is composed of six scenes and in them are evidenced the abilities for life. The response rates before and after the staging of the play were improved for all the questions, which shows that the all messages of the protective factors that prevent drug addiction through the theater play were clear. Conclusion: This quasi experimental community intervention as educational project is useful as a complement to a playful way of working in schools for drug prevention.