Creating Adolescent-centered Sexual and Reproductive Care for a Mobile Health Unit

Publication Year: 2022
Contributing Organisation: Journal of Adolescent Health
Authors: Romina L. Barral,Dora Scroggins,Janelle Noel-Macdonnell
Learning Themes: Adolescent Insights

Exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents from structurally marginalized communities face barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care. Mobile health units (MHUs) may be effective in reaching these adolescents but few studies have assessed their feasibility in this population.

We assessed the feasibility of an MHU to provide SRH care to adolescents in community settings. Adolescents were invited to community demonstrations of hypothetical MHU care (“Demonstration events”). Adolescents completed surveys (demographics, likelihood of future MHU-based care, and access to health care) and staff documented field notes. We then partnered with adolescents, health care providers, and community leaders to create adolescent-centered SRH care for MHU delivery (“Clinical events”). Free and confidential services provided on the MHU included contraceptive care, condoms, testing for pregnancy, Neisseria gonorrhea (GC), Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Syphilis, and Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Initially, we provided electronic prescriptions for contraception during MHU visits. We later designed a system to dispense contraception [I.e., emergency contraception (EC) for future use, combined hormonal oral contraceptives (CHOCs), patches and Medroxyprogesterone] in the MHU. After MHU care, adolescents completed surveys to report satisfaction while staff documented feedback through field notes.

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