School-Based Health Centers and Adolescents' Access to Reproductive Health Care
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Despite significant improvements in adolescent reproductive health in recent years, rates of teen births and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) remain public health concerns. School-based health centers (SBHCs) provide accessible health care, including reproductive health services, to youth in the school setting, overcoming many barriers to care. This study examined cross-sectional survey data (n=1,230) from sexually active high school SBHC users and non-users to identify potential differences in youth’s reported receipt of reproductive health care and contraceptive use. The study also examined SBHC service use data to identify the types of reproductive health services received by SBHC users and changes in their contraceptive use over time. Study findings demonstrated that SBHC users were significantly more likely to report “always” receiving reproductive health care when needed compared to non-users (49% vs. 35%, p<0.001). Furthermore, slightly more SBHC users reported using protection when they had sex compared to non-users (88% vs. 83%, p=0.026). SBHC service data showed that nearly half of the SBHC reproductive health visits were for contraceptive counseling (54%), contraceptive maintenance (53%), and STD screenings (44%). Significant improvements were seen in SBHC clients’ use of contraception, with an increase from 44% of clients at baseline to 55% at follow-up reporting that they “always” used contraception (p<0.001). Latina and Asian female clients in particular showed significant improvements over time. These findings suggest that SBHCs may improve adolescents’ reproductive health care access and contraceptive use, and may help to eliminate health disparities in reproductive health outcomes.
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related research
Describe the role of School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs) in adolescents’ access to reproductive health care. Compare differences in access to reproductive health care and contraceptive use by ethnic group. Describe how SBHCs can help overcome health care disparities for youth.
Keyword(s): School-Based Health, Reproductive Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been designing and conducting research and evaluation studies on school health programs for nearly 15 years. My primary research interests focus on examining the impacts of school health programs on children and adolescents' health and academic outcomes.
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.