269320 Ask “TxTina” – Going Mobile with Sex Education and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Awareness

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 1:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Mary Heinrich, Senior Vice President and Director of the Public Health Specialty Group , Healthcare and Biotechnology practice group, Fleishman-Hillard Inc., Kansas City, MO
Program background: The Iowa Department of Human Services and EyesOpenIowa partnered with Fleishman-Hillard to build on last year's statewide teen pregnancy prevention campaign, Talking Sex Together (TxT), aimed to motivate behavior change and impact teen attitudes and perceptions about sexual health. To keep the program new and fresh, this year TxT introduced “TxTina” a trained health educator to serve as campaign spokesperson. Via a text message hotline, teens submit questions and receive instant, anonymous and accurate answers from an animated character, “TxTina.” Ask “TxTina” provides a risk-free outlet for teens to address important sexual health questions/issues, which may otherwise go unanswered.

Results: • More than 1,500 teens signed-up to receive via text weekly quizzes, facts and polls related to sexual health. • 81 percent of participating teens reported the campaign positively influenced attitudes, behaviors, and decisions related to sex. • Teens submitted 1,110 sexual health-related questions and received instant, accurate answers via text from TxTina, a trained sex educator, enabling teens to make educated decisions.

Conclusions: Leveraging research findings and principles from proven behavior change models, Talking Sex Together (TxT) delivers medically accurate information that empowers teens to make informed decisions and stimulate on-going dialogue about sexual health. Efforts to affect health attitudes, perceptions and behavior change work best with the inclusion of relevant theoretical frameworks, audience segmentation, careful message design and appropriate channel selection. Implemented at the state level, this campaign serves as a scalable model to reach niche audiences with important health information and motivate intended action.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
• Formulate a state-wide, evidence-based public health campaign, using a scalable model of programming to impact attitudes and perceptions about critical health issues, such as teen pregnancy • Understand how to encourage open peer-to-peer dialogue through text messaging, social networks and online channels, thereby speaking to teens in their own language through communication mediums they know and trust • Evaluate proven online and off-line program tactics to create fully integrated pregnancy prevention communications programs

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I, Mary Heinrich, developed and executed this program. The research and results reflected in this submission are intellectual property of my employer, Fleishman-Hillard Inc.
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.