P048 Attitude of healthcare professionals’ and healthcare students’ attitudes towards teenage pregnancy and parenting

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Abstract

Introduction

Britain used to be known for its high rates of teenage pregnancy. It was labelled a ‘shameful record’ by the Labour government and the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was launched. Rates of teenage pregnancy are falling. 3.4% of babies born in 2015 were to mothers under the age of 20, compared with 10.3% in 1970. Teenage pregnancy is strongly associated with social disadvantage and health problems. Studies have been done into life outcomes of teenage parents but there is limited research about attitudes of healthcare professionals towards this group.

Methods

An original 12 part questionnaire was designed to assess attitudes towards teenage pregnancy and parenting. 502 questionnaires were returned. A scoring system was devised (1–5) with 5 being a positive view and 1 being negative view using a Likert scale. Respondents could leave comments in the free text sections.

Results

55% of respondents think that teenage pregnancy is a public health problem. 18% had been affected by teenage pregnancy in their personal lives. 85% of respondents interact with teenage parents as part of their job role. 49% of HCPS would be happy discussing contraception with a patient of any age.

Results

Improved access to contraception was the most favoured intervention to reduce teenage pregnancy followed by media campaigns aimed at teenagers.

Discussion

Teenage pregnancy can be an emotive topic and it is important to be aware of the potential stigma teenage parents may receive. This research also showed some interesting differences between attitudes towards male and female teenage parents.

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