The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3075.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 9

Abstract #59280

Hanging on the telephone: Messaging to youth through calling cards

Melody S. Madlem, PhD, PEHLS, Central Washington University, MS 7572, Ellensburg, WA 98926-7572, 509 963 1971,

Despite declining rates of teen sexual activity and increasing use of contraception among those who are sexually active, prevention of pregnancy and STDs continues to be a challenge, with four in ten girls becoming pregnant before the age of 20 in the U.S. (National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy) and approximately four million teens contracting an STD each year (Kaiser Family Foundation). Counties in South Central Washington have particularly high rates of teen pregnancy and STDs. Teens and researchers designed a calling card with a prevention message in both English and Spanish that would be heard every time the card was used. Additionally, hotline numbers were printed on the back of the cards to support the message. 5000 cards were distributed to youth aged 15-19 throughout a seven county area. Quantitative data shows that 83% of the cards were utilized, averaging 1.9 calls per card. Qualitative data shows that teens responded positively to the cards, finding them easy to use, liking both the design and the prevention message. Calling cards contribute to heightening awareness and are an effective way of reaching teens multiple times with a prevention message, as well as promoting resources such as health-related hotlines or community services. Planners of messaging campaigns for youth should consider utilizing this medium.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescents, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: The project was funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Risk Taking and Sexual Behavior

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA