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The Teen Access and Quality Initiative: Improving Adolescent Reproductive Health Best Practices in Publicly Funded Health Centers

Abstract

Quality adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) services play an important role in supporting the overall health and well-being of adolescents. Improving access to this care can help reduce unintended pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and their associated consequences, as well as promote health equity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded three grantees to implement a clinic-based ASRH quality improvement initiative complimented by activities to strengthen systems to refer and link youth to ASRH services. The purpose of this study is to describe the initiative and baseline assessment results of ASRH best practice implementation in participating health centers. The assessment found common use of the following practices: STD/HIV screening, education on abstinence and the use of dual protection, and activities to increase accessibility (e.g., offering after-school hours and walk-in and same-day appointments). The following practices were used less frequently: provider training for Long-Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) insertion and removal, LARC availability, same-day provision of all contraceptive methods, and consistent sharing of information about confidentiality and minors’ rights with adolescent clients. This study describes the types of training and technical assistance being implemented at each health center and discusses implications for future programming.

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Funding

This study was funded by National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (Grant No. CDC-RFA-DP15-1508).

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Correspondence to Anna W. Brittain.

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Brittain, A.W., Tevendale, H.D., Mueller, T. et al. The Teen Access and Quality Initiative: Improving Adolescent Reproductive Health Best Practices in Publicly Funded Health Centers. J Community Health (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10900-019-00781-z

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Keywords

  • Community health center
  • Reproductive health
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Adolescent health
  • Quality improvement