178577 A community-based participatory approach to educate high school students about reproductive health

Monday, October 27, 2008

Faith E. Fletcher, MA , Department of Health Promotion, Education & Behavior, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
Lucy Annang, PhD, MPH , Department of Health Promotion, Education, and Behavior, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Lonnie Hannon III, PhD , Department of Psychology/Sociology, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL
Wendy Sykes Horn, PhD, MPH, CHES , Women's Health Link, Cooper Green Mercy Hospital Grants Manager, Birmingham, AL
Disa L. Cornish, MS , Center for Social and Behavioral Research, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Reducing the rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents remains a national public health priority. In comparison to national rates, Alabama trends in prevalence are high suggesting an urgent need to focus on innovative ways to lower rates of teen pregnancy and STIs in the state. Results from a community-based participatory project designed to educate youth about reproductive health issues will be presented. Project aims included (1) collaborating with a local family planning clinic to create a community advisory board (CAB) to develop reproductive health education priorities for area youth; and (2) using a peer education model to increase awareness of reproductive health issues among these youth. To implement the project, freshmen high school students were selected by their peers and trained to transfer and diffuse reproductive health messages to other students. As determined by the CAB, the health education project focused on candidly relaying sex education and responsibility messages to the youth. Additionally, the CAB came to a consensus on specific methods to use in developing the project including a mentoring component, addressing cultural sensitivity, and acknowledging that teen pregnancy and STIs are a real problem in the community. Results from the implementation and evaluation phases will be presented, with particular attention paid to addressing the benefits, challenges, and lessons learned with employing a community-based, peer-led, reproductive health education program in a high school setting.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss components essential to implementing a reproductive health program for high school students established by a community advisory board in Birmingham, AL Summarize the process of employing a popular opinion leader model to promote reproductive health priorities with high school students Describe benefits and challenges associated with employing a community-based peer education model in a high school setting

Keywords: Adolescent Health, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been directly involved in the planning and implementation phases of the project and will continue to work on this project throughout its duration along with the other authors listed on this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.