ASSESS for Adolescent Risk Reduction
The ASSESS program provides tools to enhance risk-reduction communication
between health care providers and teens while in a physician's office or clinic
setting. A randomized controlled behavioral intervention trial of the program
was conducted in the metropolitan Washington, DC area between 1995 and 1997.
The trial involved 19 physicians at five primary care pediatric practices,
and 215 teens who were randomly assigned to intervention (n=205) or control
group (n=114) conditions. Control group teens received their usual health care
examination. Intervention group teens listened to an audiotape and answered
11 risk-related questions. The physician used answer sheets, pamphlets, an
icebreaker activity and role-playing strategies to encourage risk behavior
discussion and practice risk refusal strategies. Participants were interviewed
post-checkup to determine how many sexual health topics they had discussed
with their provider. Telephone follow-up interviews were conducted at three
months and nine months. Study findings showed that more intervention teens
reported discussing sexual topics with their physicians than did control group
teens. At three-month follow-up, more sexually active intervention group teens
reported condom use than control group teens. While more vaginal intercourse
was also reported in the intervention group than the control group, this was
not true of overall sexual intercourse. At nine months, there were no group
differences in sexual behavior; however, more signs of STDs were reported by
the control than the intervention group. View
more detailed information on this program.
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