Online Program

Using technology to reach adolescents with urgent sexual and reproductive health questions

Monday, November 4, 2013

Whitney Arons, MPH, CHES, Education Division, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York, NY
Deborah Levine, MSW, MAT, Education Division, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York, NY
Leslie Kantor, PhD, MPH, PPFA, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, New York, NY
In July 2011, the Pew Research Center found that 95% of teens 12-17 used the internet, 77% owned a cell phone, and 80% of internet users used social networking sites. In order to capitalize on the ubiquity of technology in young people's lives, in September 2010, Planned Parenthood launched a chat/text hotline to respond to youth (15-24), particularly African-American and Latino youth, with urgent questions following unprotected sex when worry levels are high and there is imminent need to access care. The program is showing promising results with expressed intentions that are one of the best predictors of subsequent behavior: 95% of chatters/texters ages 15-24 reported that they agree or strongly agree that to take the next steps discussed during the conversation. To strengthen the program and improve the likelihood of behavior change, a new component is being added to include a follow up communication with users to provide additional information and a reminder to take any necessary steps. This presentation will include a description of the program and highlights of the most recent data collected and analyzed, including the demographics of users and post-test results including change in worry level, intention to take next steps discussed in the conversation, satisfaction with service, and health center referrals. As technology takes on ever greater significance in adolescents' lives, public health professionals must determine the best ways to harness it to advance our aims of improving the sexual health of this population. The Chat/Text hotline is one such effort.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe characteristics of and outcomes for users of a chat and text sexual health hotline.

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the Manager of Evaluation at PPFA, one of my responsibilities is to analyze and evaluate the data from our digital tools, such as the Chat/Text program. I have extensive background in data analysis, research, and evaluation. I have a sexuality education background, especially involving teens and young adults.
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.