Text Messaging, Teen Outreach Program, and Sexual Health Behavior: A Cluster Randomized Trial

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Abstract

Objectives

To consider whether Youth All Engaged! (a text message intervention) intensified the effects of the adolescent pregnancy prevention Teen Outreach Program (control) for youths.

Methods

In this trial performed in Denver, Colorado, from 2011 to 2014, we randomized 8 Boys & Girls Clubs each of 4 years into 32 clubs per year combinations to ensure each club would serve as a treatment site for 2 years and a control site for 2 years. Control intervention consisted of the Teen Outreach Program only. We enrolled 852 youths (aged 14-18 years), and 632 were retained at follow-up, with analytic samples ranging from 50 to 624 across outcomes. We examined program costs, and whether the intervention increased condom and contraceptive use, access to care, and pregnancy prevention.

Results

Control program costs were $1184 per participant, and intervention costs were an additional $126 per participant (+10.6%). There were no statistically significant differences in primary outcomes for the full sample. Hispanic participants in the intervention condition had fewer pregnancies at follow-up (1.79%) than did those in the control group (6.72%; P = .02).

Conclusions

Youth All Engaged is feasible, low cost, and could have potential benefits for Hispanic youths.

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