Open Access

The Use of the Kohonen Neural Network for Comparing the Declared and Actual State of Knowledge Regarding Reproductive Health and the Impact of Selected Lifestyle Components on Reproductive Health


Infertility is a global problem affecting 48 to 186 million couples of reproductive age. In Poland, it concerns approx. 1.5 million couples, which amounts to 20% of the population capable of reproducing. One of the factors influencing the incidence of fertility disorders may be lifestyle, understood as a multi-disciplinary accumulation of everyday behaviours and habits. In the study, a group of 201 young adults, students of medical and related faculties, were surveyed in order to check the actual level of knowledge about the impact of lifestyle on reproductive health. The Kohonen network, which is an example of a self-learning neural network, was used to find non-obvious connections between the data. The trained Kohonen neural network formed 4 clusters with different characteristics. Based on analyses of the structure of each cluster, it was found that 2nd year students of Medicine are internally divided into 3 fractions. The first fraction declared a high level of knowledge, but did not have real knowledge. The second fraction was aware of their ignorance, as confirmed by the knowledge test. The last fraction was characterized by a high level of self-confidence regarding their knowledge about reproductive health and obtained a high result in the knowledge test. It was confirmed that people studying at the Medical faculty know more than students of the same year at faculties other than Medicine. Interesting results were obtained for a group of 3rd year students of first-cycle studies in Dietetics. They did not obtain a significantly better result in the knowledge test concerning the influence of diet and lifestyle on reproductive health. It would seem that one could expect at least a few highly knowledgeable students in a group of 3rd year students, but this was not confirmed by the study. In view of the obtained results, it was concluded that the Kohonen neural network is applicable to the analysis of data on the actual state of knowledge about the impact of lifestyle on reproductive health.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Philosophy, other