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In the news: U of M researchers find program improves teen contraceptive use

A recent examination of a two-year study at the University of Minnesota is giving health care professionals an encouraging look at the future of care for girls at high risk of teen pregnancy.

The results appeared this week in JAMA Pediatrics.

Renee Sieving, R.N., Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Nursing, and an interdisciplinary team of researchers created an intervention program called Prime Time to study the effects of immediate and immersive intervention in the lives of teenage girls identified for sexual health risk behaviors.

Prime Time focused on providing one-on-one counseling and leadership opportunities for sexually active girls considered at-risk, including girls who had tested positive for sexually transmitted infections or were noted for aggressive behavior or school avoidance.

The hope of Sieving and her colleagues was that the program would decrease sexual risk behaviors, promote change in certain psychosocial characteristics linked to sexual risk behaviors, and help the girls become better connected at school and get help coping with violence.

A follow-up survey administered six months after the intervention showed that the program has had a positive impact on the lives of the girls that participated in Prime Time.

In a conversation with Reuters, Sieving said, “Our study shows that when we invest in young people through ongoing one-on-one relationships, through opportunities to lead and access to sex and health services, we really support the next generation of citizens.”

Check out more stories about the study and the Prime Time program on UMN Health’s Storify.

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