Purpose of Study Torrington, WY, has a high rate of teen pregnancy. A community project was developed to address the prevalence of teen pregnancy in Torrington and to review the educational opportunities available for teens with respect to sexual activity and teen pregnancy.
Methods Informal interviews were conducted with a public health nurse, a nurse practitioner specializing in family planning, and a local physician to understand current programs that address teen pregnancy-related issues, including sex education, pregnancy prevention, and support programs for teen mothers. A literature search was performed using PubMed to obtain information about teen pregnancy rates, contraceptive use, and sex education programs and a new brochure was developed. A discussion was held with local physicians to review the brochure. A focus group for local teen females was also organized to discuss teen pregnancy and to review acceptance of the new teen pregnancy brochure.
Results A lack of sex education and awareness of the right to confidential health care with respect to sex-related issues were considered to be issues that may need to be resolved. Both teen acceptance and physician acceptance of the brochure were positive.
Conclusion Integration within a community is a first step to identifying a community problem that needs to be addressed. Meeting with community leaders and the target population, in addition to reviewing the latest medical literature, is useful for identifying a community problem such as teen pregnancy. Bringing attention to a community problem is essential for initiating an intervention.
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