242372 Evaluating a Text-Message-Based Sexual Health Information and Clinic Referral Service for Youth

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 1:10 PM

Rebecca Braun, MPH , Bixby Center for Population, Health and Sustainability, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Berkeley, CA
Raymond Perry, MD, MS , Department of Pediatrics, University of California at Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Bhupendra Sheoran, MD, MBA , ISIS Inc., Oakland, CA
New mobile communication technologies offer unique opportunities to reach youth. In April 2009, the California Family Health Council and ISIS Inc. launched the ‘Hookup', a statewide text-messaging service providing weekly sexual health tips and information about local clinics offering free or low-cost sexual health services. Each message contains a prompt to text the word 'clinic' plus a zip code to get local clinic referrals, and a website link (www.teensource.org) for follow-up information. The ‘Hookup' is an excellent model of a low-cost program using health messaging and mobile technology to facilitate youth access to sexual health information and services. Over the past year, we have focused on evaluating the ‘Hookup' program, using a multi-pronged approach. First, we analyzed subscriber metrics including number of sign-ups and opt-outs, as well as the number, geographic location and frequency of clinic requests. Next, we conducted focus groups with teens to solicit their perspective on message content and usefulness of the service, as well as to hear any concerns or suggestions for improvement. Then we launched a school-based, randomized study (currently ongoing) to evaluate the effectiveness of the ‘Hookup' in changing/influencing users' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to sexual health. And finally, we conducted a text-message based subscriber survey to assess demographics (age, gender, zip code), how subscribers found out about the ‘Hookup' and any knowledge or behavior changes associated with ‘Hookup' subscription. We will summarize evaluation findings and use them to improve sexual health information and services for youth across California through the ‘Hookup'.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to describe various methods to evaluate a text-based sexual health information and clinic referral service for youth.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have led the planning, implementation and evaluation of this project since its inception in 2008.
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.