Online Program

Partnering with student health center to evaluate best practices to deliver sexually transmitted infection education via text messaging

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 6:50 p.m. - 7:10 p.m.

Patricia Eathington, DNP, RN, School of Nursing, Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL
Kathleen A. Baldwin, PhD RN, College of Nursing, University of Illinois-Chicago, Peoria, IL
Krista Jones, DNP, RN, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Urbana Regional Program, Urbana, IL
Mary Margaret Harris, MS, Beu Student Health Center, Western Illinois University- Student Health Center, Macomb, IL
Susan Ohlson, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background: Although adolescents and young adults represent 25% of the sexually active population, they acquire 50% of all STIs. Sixty-seven percent of college students report having had sexual intercourse; only half of these usually have used a protective barrier. Research suggests cell phones may be an important disease prevention tool for college students because texting is a normal part of their lives. Description: The authors collaborated with a Midwestern university student health center to implement and evaluate a social marketing texting intervention. The project's evidence-based question: Does STI prevention education delivered via text messaging decrease the incidence of risky sexual behavior and increase knowledge of STIs among college students age 18-25? Participants (n=241) age 18-25 years received 18 educational text messages over six weeks. Messages were adapted from a previous study, Bull's 411 project, as well as developed by the author. A pre-test/post-test design with on-line data collection was used for evaluation. The survey instrument was adapted from (Turchik & Garske) Sexual Risk Survey and Bull's 411. Data was analyzed using paired t-tests. Lessons Learned: Evaluation results give credence to text messaging as an effective method of not only dispersing STI information but also increasing knowledge (STI facts, how to use a condom, screening and prevention), and likelihood of behavior change (carry a condom, use condom for oral sex, and screen for STIs). Recommendations: College health centers should consider adding text messaging to their armament against STIs. Further evaluation of this strategy for its long term impact is indicated.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Describe texting interventions to address STI education to populations at risk Discuss the implementation process of developing a text messaging project Evaluate the effectiveness of text messaging STI information to college students

Keyword(s): STD Prevention, Telecommunications

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have a masters degree in nursing with 11 years of teaching nursing and the presented evidence-based practice project was part partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctorate of Nursing Practice in the College of Nursing of the University of Illinois at Chicago, 2013.
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.

Back to: 3468.0: Promoting Sexual Health