Evaluating the Sharing Stories youth theatre program: An interactive theatre and drama-based strategy for sexual health promotion among multicultural youth
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Issue addressed: Rates of sexually transmissible infections among young people are high, and there is a need for innovative, youth-focused sexual health promotion programs. This study evaluated the effectiveness of the Sharing Stories youth theatre program, which uses interactive theatre and drama-based strategies to engage and educate multicultural youth on sexual health issues. The effectiveness of using drama-based evaluation methods is also discussed. Methods: The youth theatre program participants were 18 multicultural youth from South East Asian, African and Middle Eastern backgrounds aged between 14 and 21 years. Four sexual health drama scenarios and a sexual health questionnaire were used to measure changes in knowledge and attitudes. Results: Participants reported being confident talking to and supporting their friends with regards to safe sex messages, improved their sexual health knowledge and demonstrated a positive shift in their attitudes towards sexual health. Drama-based evaluation methods were effective in engaging multicultural youth and worked well across the cultures and age groups. Conclusions: Theatre and drama-based sexual health promotion strategies are an effective method for up-skilling young people from multicultural backgrounds to be peer educators and good communicators of sexual health information. Drama-based evaluation methods are engaging for young people and an effective way of collecting data from culturally diverse youth. So what?: This study recommends incorporating interactive and arts-based strategies into sexual health promotion programs for multicultural youth. It also provides guidance for health promotion practitioners evaluating an arts-based health promotion program using arts-based data collection methods.
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