Purpose: The purposes of the study were to describe baseline data in the implementation of evidence-based clinical practices among health center partners as part of a community-wide teen pregnancy prevention initiative and to identify opportunities for health center improvement.
Methods: Health center partner baseline data were collected in the first year (2011) and before program implementation of a 5-year community-wide teen pregnancy prevention initiative. A needs assessment on health center capacity and implementation of evidence-based clinical practices was administered with 51 health centers partners in 10 communities in the United States with high rates of teen pregnancy.
Results: Health centers reported inconsistent implementation of evidence-based clinical practices in providing reproductive health services to adolescents. Approximately 94.1% offered same-day appointments, 91.1% had infrastructure to reduce cost barriers, 90.2% offered after-school appointments, and 80.4% prescribed hormonal contraception without prerequisite examinations or testing. Approximately three quarters provided visual and audio privacy in examination rooms (76.5%) and counseling areas (74.5%). Fewer offered a wide range of contraceptive methods (67.8%) and took a sexual health history at every visit (54.9%). Only 45.1% reported Quick Start initiation of hormonal contraception, emergency contraception (43.1%), or intrauterine devices (12.5%) were “always” available to adolescents.
Conclusions: The assessment highlighted opportunities for health center improvement. Strategies to build capacity of health center partners to implement evidence-based clinical practices may lead to accessibility and quality of reproductive health services for adolescents in the funded communities. (Author abstract)