250438 Evaluation of abstinence program for urban preadolescent and health outcomes

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Chia-Ching Chen, MA, MS, EdD, CHES , Department of Epidemiology & Community Health, New York Medical College School of Health Sciences & Practice, Valhalla, NY
Tetsuji Yamada, PhD , Department of Economics, Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey, Camden, NJ
Martin Finkelstein, PhD , Department of Educational Leadership Management and Policy, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
Shijian Li, PhD , MSW , School of Medicine, New York University, New York City, NY
Background: Unintended pregnancy among preadolescents often imposes burdens of poor health outcomes, induce socio-economic costs, and increase health/medical costs. It is crucial to evaluate a school-based program and economic outcomes taking into account different socio-cultural characteristics and behaviors in order to allocate resources effectively.

Methods: The project employed a quasi-experimental treatment-control group evaluation design with random assignment of schools to treatment and control groups in New York. About 700 students are in the intervention and 500 students were in the treatment group in 6th and 7th grades. Health education program offered 24 weekly 45~60 minute classes. A common instrument was administered to students at baseline and at 6 month, 12 month and 24 month follow ups. Three influential factors that were related to decision-making behavior were analyzed.

Results: Application of the behavioral model demonstrated a significant difference between the treatment and control groups in attitudes toward abstinence and intent to abstain from sexual activity until marriage. The cost effective analysis shows net gain per student from the health education intervention after considering the true cost of the project. Additional findings suggest that the impact of a school-based health-education intervention for abstinence from sexual activity in preadolescents requires the integration of program components designed to enhance child-parent communication and to enhance self efficacy for preadolescents.

Conclusions: The project is feasible from a cost effectiveness point of view for society as a whole. Periodic monitoring of the program seems warranted, however, to assess program effects and enhance operating efficiency.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Participants will learn to use cost-effectiveness approach to evaluate a school-based unintended pregnancy health intervention for underserved preadolescents.

Keywords: Health Education, Health Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am involved in the study.
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.