Formative Research for the Development of an Interactive Web-Based Sexually Transmitted Disease Management Intervention for Young Women

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Sexually transmitted diseases are common among young women and effective self-management is foundational to improving health outcomes and preventing negative sequelae. Advances in technology create the opportunity for innovative delivery methods of self-management interventions. However, it is essential to conduct formative research with the target population to identify both the needs and the preferences for the content and delivery method of a sexually transmitted disease self-management intervention prior to intervention development. Eight focus groups were conducted with 35 young women between 18 and 24 years of age. We found that young women strongly support the use of a Web-based intervention to provide sexually transmitted disease self-management guidance. Women were interested in receiving comprehensive management information from the perspective of both clinicians and other women who have experienced a sexually transmitted disease. There was a clear interest in incorporating new media into the Web-based intervention to allow for communication with providers as well as to create opportunities for social networking between women. This formative research provides critical information about the content and delivery method of a self-management intervention and gives direction for intervention development that is inclusive of varying types of new media to allow for connectivity among users, their peers, and clinicians.

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