Developed and tested by the Center for Innovative Public Health Research (CIPHR) in San Clemente, California, in partnership with UBC’s Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Center, is the first texting-based intervention specifically designed for gay and bisexual adolescents is aimed.
“For more than 30 years, research in the US, Canada and other countries has shown that lesbian and bisexual girls are at higher risk for teen pregnancy than their heterosexual peers,” said Dr. Michelle Ybarra, executive director of CIPHR (he/she) said and lead author of the study. “Yet existing sexual health education and teen pregnancy prevention programs have not met their unique needs. Girl2Girl was designed to share the knowledge, inspiration, and skills needed to make safe and healthy decisions.”
In a large randomized trial described in a paper published in pediatricsThe positive effect of the intervention on behavior lasted for 12 months or longer. The trial involved 948 cisgender lesbian and bisexual girls aged 14 to 18 from a variety of backgrounds. Participants were randomized to receive either five weeks of text messages every day about sexual health information tailored to their needs, or five weeks of text messages about nutrition, exercise and other health promotion .
Benefits of Girl2Girl Interventions
“Girl2Girl puts information in the palm of your hands,” said Dr. Ybarra. “This makes it more accessible to adolescents in rural and remote areas where sexual-health services may be limited, and is consistent with real-world wisdom that lesbian, bisexual and queer girls may not be included in sex education.” could.”
The researchers found that those who received tailored sexual-health information increased their use of condoms and contraception five months after starting the program—surpassing the results of many teen-pregnancy prevention programs and most e-health interventions. Went. Notably, the researchers found that these healthy behaviors were maintained 12 months after completing the program.
“Follow-up for most e-health interventions and teen pregnancy prevention programs is very low,” said co-author Dr. Elizabeth Savick (he/she) explained. “It’s rare to have data even six months after the program. But we followed the girls for a full 12 months after the intervention ended, and we saw continued positive health behaviors.”
Although there were too few pregnancies in the Girl2Girl and control groups during that time to see a statistically significant difference, the behavior change toward pregnancy offered promising evidence that the program helped drive long-term health behavior change, Dr. Savick said, adding that the intervention could also benefit Canadian teenagers.
Prevalence of Teen Pregnancy in Canada
“Teen pregnancy is much lower in Canada than in the US, but our research shows that lesbian and bi girls are still at twice the risk than heterosexual girls. Other sexual health issues, such as sexually transmitted infections, are much more common here in Canada. I have a concern.” Said.
“The majority of young people in Canada have mobile phones, and an intervention that reaches them, and can be adapted to our Canadian context, can help ensure that we improve sexual health outcomes for all youth.” Close the gap.”