A randomized trial of motivational interviewing and facilitated contraceptive access to prevent rapid repeat pregnancy among adolescent mothers

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Most interventions designed to reduce teen pregnancy rates have not focused on pregnant and/or parenting adolescents. Therefore, a large randomized controlled trial was conducted regarding a motivational interviewing program entitled Teen Options to Prevent Pregnancy in a low-income sample of adolescent mothers. This program recommended monthly sessions between a participant and a registered nurse over 18 months. This program also featured facilitated birth control access through transportation assistance and a part-time contraceptive clinic.


The impact of this program on rapid repeat pregnancies at 18 months after enrollment was evaluated.


Five hundred ninety-eight adolescent females were enrolled from 7 obstetrics-gynecology clinics and 5 postpartum units of a large hospital system in a Midwestern city. Each participant was enrolled at least 28 weeks pregnant or less than 9 weeks postpartum. Each participant was randomized to either the Teen Options to Prevent Pregnancy intervention or a usual-care control condition. Intervention participants averaged 4.5 hours of assistance. Participants were contacted by blinded research staff at 6 and 18 months to complete self-report surveys. Differences in outcomes between the intervention and control groups were assessed using ordinary least-squares regression.


There was an 18.1% absolute reduction in self-reported repeat pregnancy in the intervention group relative to the control group (20.5% vs 38.6%%; P < .001). There was a 13.7% absolute increase in self-reported long-acting reversible contraception use in the intervention group relative to the control group (40.2% vs 26.5%, P = .002). There was no evidence of harmful effects of the intervention on sexual risk behaviors, such as having sexual intercourse without a condom or greater number of partners.


The Teen Options to Prevent Pregnancy program represents one of the few evidence-based interventions to reduce rapid repeat teen pregnancy. This relatively brief intervention may be a viable alternative to more time-intensive programs that adolescent mothers may be unable or unwilling to receive.

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