Tailoring Family Planning Services to the Special
Needs of Adolescents: New Adolescent Approach Protocols
This family planning clinic-based intervention was originally developed for
teens less than 18 years of age. It is based on the premise that regular contraceptive
use by teens can be increased by offering information, social support, and
counseling, in addition to health and medical services. Accordingly, the program
aims to provide family planning services in a manner that will increase teens'
sense of comfort, increase their self-confidence, and reduce any fears that
may discourage regular and effective contraception. A key component of the
intervention is the Personal Information Form, a one-page questionnaire designed
to aid staff in understanding teens' concerns, providing counsel and identifying
patients who may be at greatest risk for early pregnancy. To ease teens' anxiety,
the first appointment is divided into two visits, with education and counseling
provided in the first session and the medical examination (and contraceptive
prescription) deferred until the second. The intervention also includes: (1)
education in a one-on-one rather than a group setting; (2) use of visual aids;
(3) a follow-up visit scheduled six weeks after the initial appointment; and
(4) encouragement of participation by family members, partners, and friends,
while respecting the patient's right to confidential services. A field study
was conducted with 1,261 teens attending six family planning clinics. Compared
to their peers receiving standard services, program participants showed significantly
greater gains in knowledge, contraceptive usage and significantly fewer pregnancies
at the 6- and 12-month follow-up assessments. View
more detailed information on this program.
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