Reducing barriers to seeking sexual health services: Using data to inform services for adolescents and young adults
methods: Forty-one youth ages 13 - 22 completed audio recorded, semi-structured interviews focused on behaviors, knowledge, perceptions and attitudes of teen pregnancy, STIs, and the impact they have on the community. Twenty-one community stakeholders, including clinical service providers, also were interviewed as part of an environmental scan. Interview transcripts were analyzed qualitatively to detect emergent themes.
results: There was a large degree of concordance between interviews with youth and community stakeholders. Lack of knowledge, stigma, and a perceived lack of confidentiality were significant barriers to sexual health seeking. Additionally, many youth did not feel welcome at existing clinical services, highlighting perceived favoritism towards adults, long wait times, and inadequate hours.
conclusion: These findings demonstrate avenues to reduce barriers to sexual health seeking and improve clinical services targeting youth including developing confidentiality statements, expanding clinic hours, and providing youth specific environments.
Learning Areas:Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Describe barriers to sexual health service seeking behavior among adolescents and young adults. Identify strategies to reduce barriers in STI interventions targeted towards adolescents and young adults.
Keyword(s): STDs/STI, Youth
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an advanced PhD student with three years of mentoring from accomplished experts and have been involved in the development and evaluation of a number of public health interventions. Among my scientific interests has been sexual and mental health particularly among sexual minorities as well as children, adolescents, 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.