Sexual Health and Relationship Abuse Interventions in Pediatric Primary Care: A Systematic Review.

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Publication Date



DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2022.11.011


PURPOSE: Supporting adolescents in developing healthy relationships and promoting sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is an important responsibility of pediatric primary care providers. Less is known about evidence-based interventions in pediatric settings focused on healthy relationships and SRH.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic review to describe SRH and healthy relationship/adolescent relationship abuse (ARA) interventions for pediatric primary care over the past 20 years. Eligible articles were original research on an SRH-focused or ARA-focused intervention, conducted in-person within pediatric primary care or school-based health centers specifically for middle or high school-aged adolescents. Data abstracted from included articles included intervention description, content, delivery, evaluation design, and effectiveness of primary outcomes. Heterogeneous outcomes and evidence levels made conducting a meta-analysis infeasible.

RESULTS: Nineteen studies described 17 interventions targeting a variety of SRH and ARA topics (e.g., sexually transmitted infections, contraception, ARA). Interventions largely focused on screening/counseling adolescents (89%). Interventions generally were reported as being effective in changing adolescent health or practice-level outcomes.

DISCUSSION: This review provides preliminary evidence that SRH and ARA interventions in pediatric primary care settings can be effective in promoting adolescent health. Future work should consider ARA-specific prevention interventions, including parents in interventions, and strategies for implementation, dissemination, and scaling.

Journal Title

The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Child; Humans; Contraception; Primary Health Care; Reproductive Health; Sexual Behavior; Sexual Health; Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Adolescent; Adolescent relationship abuse; Contraception counseling; Interventions; Pregnancy prevention; Primary care; Reproductive health; STI testing; Sexual health

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