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Defining Mexican youth needs and demands in sexual and reproductive health: Using a participatory workshop as a research tool

Deborah L. Billings, PhD and Laura Villa Torres, BA. Research and Evaluation, Ipas Mexico, Pachuca 92, Colonia Condesa, Mexico City, 06140, Mexico, (52-5) 211-7753, debbieb@ipas.org.mx

Background: Governmental and non-governmental programs throughout Mexico have indicated the importance of working directly with youth to better understand their needs and demands related to sexual and reproductive health in order to design strategies and services appropriate to this diverse population.

Purpose: Present findings from 12 participatory workshops carried out with youth and health care providers attending youth living in rural and urban areas.

Methods: Participatory workshops were carried out by a team of young sociologists with youth and health care providers in nine Mexican states, based on the Ipas manual, Gender or Sex: Who Cares. The workshop enables participants to explore the importance of gender in relation to sexual and reproductive health as well as define their needs and demands in this area. Results from each exercise and discussion were captured through newsprint and video and systematized in a central database. N*Vivo was used to code and analyze data.

Results: Youth were active participants in the workshops, which served as important spaces for initiating dialogue between them and health care providers working in local services. Participants had little experience with and knowledge of topics including pregnancy, gender-based violence, and abortion and noted their interest in being able to access accurate information. Demands included de-coding medical language so that ideas were more accessible to them and direct youth participation in health services.

Conclusions: The workshop serves as an innovative tool for mutual learning, reflection and qualitative research, opening discussion to topics often difficult to address with youth in interviews and focus groups.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescents, International, Reproductive Health

Related Web page: www.ipas.org

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Factors that Affect Sexual and Reproductive Health of Young People, and How to Address them

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA