Effect of Previous Adverse Reproductive Health Outcomes on Young Women's Engagement in a Health Coaching Intervention to Improve Contraceptive Continuation

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STUDY OBJECTIVE: Nonadherence in sexual risk reduction interventions might be common among adolescents. We compared intervention completion rates among adolescent and young adult women with and without a previous pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection (STI) participating in a program to improve contraceptive continuation. DESIGN: Secondary data analysis from a feasibility study of a health-coaching intervention to improve contraceptive continuation. SETTING: Three urban pediatric clinics in Philadelphia. PARTICIPANTS: Women ages 14-22 years who were English-speaking, sexually active in the past year, not desiring pregnancy in the next year, and starting a new contraceptive method. INTERVENTIONS: At baseline, participants completed a sociodemographic questionnaire and semistructured interview, followed by 5 monthly coaching sessions. Interviews and coaching sessions were audio-recorded, transcribed, and coded for thematic content. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Intervention completion was defined as the number of completed coaching sessions. Secondary outcomes were qualitatively explored group differences in reproductive knowledge, attitudes, and risk perception. RESULTS: Participants with a previous adverse outcome (a previous STI and/or a previous pregnancy) completed fewer coaching sessions than those without such history (median: 2 vs 4; P = .03). Both groups had low HIV/STI knowledge, negative attitudes toward pregnancy, and low HIV/STI risk perception. Those with a previous adverse reproductive outcome held more negative attitudes toward condoms. CONCLUSION: Despite similar reproductive knowledge, attitudes, and risk perception, young women who have experienced an adverse reproductive outcome might be less likely to fully engage in sexual risk reduction interventions. Future studies should confirm these findings and consider strategies to optimize the intervention's reach for vulnerable youth.


Amutah C, Petsis D, Fields NF, Wood S, Timko A, Akers AY