Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 February 2012
In a recent study by our group on the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections and on the knowledge, attitudes and practices of local residents of Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we observed that about 50% of the inhabitants were parasitized and had some knowledge of intestinal parasitic infections but did not apply this knowledge in daily practice. We were thus motivated to implement strategies in health education to promote preventive measures in the locality. The goal of the present work was to evaluate the influence of health education on the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in the region in an effort to strengthen public policies for controlling these diseases in Brazil. The methodology adopted was based on action-research and a theoretical framework of health promotion. Our results demonstrate that the study population exhibited an enhanced awareness of the importance of disease from intestinal parasitic infections. Attitudes and practices related to prevention were significantly improved after the shared health education. In conclusion, this study allowed the shared construction of knowledge that reflected the true needs of the residents.