Development of a Questionnaire to Assess Drug Abuse among High School Students of Isfahan Province, Iran: An Action Research

Mahmonir Nahvizadeh, Ziba Farajzadegan, Kamal Heidari, Nahid Geramian, Leila Gharaat, Shohreh Akhavan Taheri, Fatemeh Mohebpour


Background: Considering the problem of drug abuse in Iran especially in adolescents and the youth, recent alterations in drug abuse rate and its trend, the necessity to have local information about this problem, applied research has a determining role in management of this problem and making proper decisions. Therefore, the current study was conducted to develop a questionnaire to assess the status of drug abuse among high school students of Isfahan Province, Iran.
Methods: This cross‑sectional study was conducted out in 2009 in 20 cities of Isfahan Province. A  researcher‑made questionnaire was developed to determine knowledge, attitude, and practice of high school students regarding addictive drugs and their associated causes. This was accomplished by recruiting 7137 students who were selected by multistage random cluster sampling.
Results: The designed questionnaire identified the status quo of drug abuse according to age, gender, and different cities of Isfahan Province. We also accessed information about the type of abused drug, the most common causes of drug abuse for the first time, the most important causes of drug abuse, mean age of abusers and mean age at the first abuse, common time and locations of drug abuse, and the most common routes of drug abuse according to gender as well as urban and rural areas of Isfahan Province. Reliability of the questionnaire, based on the calculated Cronbach’s alpha coefficient, was 77% considering a cut‑off point of 0.07.
Conclusions: According to the obtained results, the designed questionnaire is capable to assess the drug abuse status among high school students of Isfahan Province. Regarding the importance of teenage years in forming the future behaviors of adolescents and the opportunities provided at schools, it is prudent to pay more attention to interventions in this age group in order to increase their knowledge and correct their attitude toward illegal drugs and strengthening their confidence in this regard. These interventions can have an important role in decreasing the rate of drug abuse in this age group and consequently in the whole community.
Keywords: Attitude, drug abuse, high school students, knowledge, practice, questionnaire

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