Clinical trial evaluates intervention to reduce pregnancy risk among adolescent girls

February 25, 2013

More consistent use of condoms, oral contraception or both was reported by a group of teenage girls who took part in a youth development intervention aimed at reducing pregnancy risk in high-risk adolescents, according to a report of a randomized controlled trial published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics.

The United States continues to have the highest rates of and childbearing among the industrialized nations and each year more than 750,000 young women ages of 15 and 19 years become pregnant, resulting in more than 400,000 births, according to the study background.

Renee E. Sieving, R.N., Ph.D., F.S.A.H.M., of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and colleagues examined sexual risk behaviors and outcomes with a 24-month follow-up survey, six months after the conclusion of the Prime Time development intervention.

Prime Time is an intervention for girls at high risk for pregnancy and designed for primary care clinics. The primary focus was on promoting change in selected psychosocial attributes linked to sexual risk behaviors and other behavioral outcomes, working with case managers and intervention components such as youth leadership.

Of 253 sexually active 13- to 17-year-old girls, who met specified risk criteria, 236 (93.3 percent) completed the 24-month survey. The trial included 126 girls assigned to the intervention and 127 assigned to the control group.

"Findings suggest that health services grounded in a youth development framework can lead to long-term reductions in sexual risk among vulnerable youth," the study notes.

At the 24 months follow-up, the reported "significantly more consistent" use of condoms, hormonal contraception and dual-method contraception (hormonal contraception plus condoms) than the control group, according to the results of data collected using self-report surveys. The girls in the intervention also reported improvements in family connectedness and self-confidence to refuse unwanted sex, and they also reported reductions in the perceived importance of having sex, the results indicate.

"Together with previous findings demonstrating reductions in , relational aggression and violence victimization among Prime Time participants, results from this study suggest that involvement in a youth development intervention that combines individualized case management and youth leadership components holds great promise for preventing multiple risk behaviors among youth most vulnerable to poor health outcomes, including early pregnancy," the study concludes.

Explore further: Trends in sexual behaviors similar for teens who take few health risk and those who take many

More information: JAMA Pediatr. Published online February 25, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.1089

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Some youth football drills riskier than others

August 23, 2016

Nearly three quarters of the football players in the U.S. are less than 14 years old. But amid growing concern about concussion risk in football, the majority of the head-impact research has focused on college and professional ...

Babies often put to sleep in unsafe positions

August 15, 2016

(HealthDay)—Despite decades of warnings from the "Back to Sleep" campaign, many parents are still putting their babies to sleep in ways that raise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a new study finds.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.