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Supporting Teenagers' Use of Contraceptives: A Comparison of Clinic Services
Roberta Herceg-Baron, Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., Judy Shea and Kathleen Mullan Harris
Family Planning Perspectives
Vol. 18, No. 2 (Mar. - Apr., 1986), pp. 61-66
Published by: Guttmacher Institute
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2135030
Page Count: 6
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A program to provide teenage family planning clinic patients with special services designed to improve their ability to practice contraception effectively and avoid conception produced neither of these expected effects. Two types of special services were tested in nine clinics: one, to promote greater involvement of the teenager's family through special counseling sessions (family support); and the other, to provide more frequent contact between the teenager and clinic staff through telephone calls (periodic support). The services were provided in the six weeks following the first clinic visit. Only 36 percent of the girls who agreed to be in the family support group attended any counseling sessions, and only five percent of them came with a parent. Participation was greater in the periodic support group--84 percent of teenagers in the group received the follow-up phone calls. During the 15 months following the initial clinic visit, there were no significant differences in regularity of contraceptive use and pregnancy rates between the teenagers who received the special support services and those who received only the regular clinic services. About 40 percent of the special-service groups reported always using a contraceptive method during the study period, compared with 48 percent of controls; and about 40 percent of the former said they had rarely or never used a method, compared with 27 percent of the latter. The cumulative 15-month pregnancy rate was about 13 percent in both the special-service and the control groups.
Family Planning Perspectives © 1986 Guttmacher Institute