Submitting/Presenting Author

Anna Bitely, Children's Mercy HospitalFollow

Presenter Status

Fellow

Abstract Type

Research

Primary Mentor

Melissa Miller, MD MSCR

Start Date

2-5-2022 11:30 AM

End Date

2-5-2022 1:30 PM

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Description

Background: In the pandemic’s wake, marginalized adolescents face exacerbated barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and mental health (MH) care. Telemedicine access for SRH/MH care has increased, but disparities remain.

Objectives/Goal: We assessed the impact of our intervention (AccessKCTeen) on care access.

Methods/Design: We trained four peer leaders to share SRH/MH information and mobilize their networks to attend AccessKCTeen outreach events. We partnered with community organizations to host events where we demonstrated telemedicine, shared resources for SRH/MH care, and discussed and distributed free health items (e.g. emergency contraception (EC), condoms, pregnancy tests, hand sanitizer). Teens completed surveys prior to, immediately after, and one-month after engaging with AccessKCTeen. We calculated summary statistics to describe demographics, health needs, confidence to access care, satisfaction, health item uptake, and SRH/MH care utilization. Study staff documented participant engagement and feedback via field notes. We used chi square tests to compare pre and post-intervention measures of confidence to access care and health care trust.

Results: At eight AccessKCTeen events, we enrolled 98 teens (mean age 15.8 years, characteristics in Table 1). At post-intervention, 86% were satisfied, 76% felt it was “very/somewhat” likely they would use telemedicine in the future, and 86% would recommend AccessKCTeen to a friend. Many accepted EC (36%), condoms (36%), pregnancy tests (23%), and hand sanitizer (56%). Compared to baseline, more teens reported confidence to access telemedicine (52% vs. 78%, p < 0.001) post-intervention. At follow-up (n=60), 22% had obtained care since enrollment; of these, most discussed SRH (69%) and MH (54%). Field notes revealed benefits of telemedicine including privacy, ease of use, and increased access to care for sensitive health needs. Participants felt MH care is “desperately needed” but seeking care has negative stigma. Participants voiced they “need facts” and accurate information on SRH and education on “abstinence is not enough.” Many did not know EC was available without a prescription or the timeframe for use.

Conclusions: As COVID-19 continues to complicate access, programs like AccessKCTeen can increase immediate access to health items and build adolescent confidence in careseeking. Study is needed to understand associations between improved confidence with care-seeking behaviors.

MeSH Keywords

Teen; mental health; sexual and reproductive health; telemedicine; mobile unit

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May 2nd, 11:30 AM May 2nd, 1:30 PM

Improving adolescent sexual and mental health care access through community outreach

Background: In the pandemic’s wake, marginalized adolescents face exacerbated barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and mental health (MH) care. Telemedicine access for SRH/MH care has increased, but disparities remain.

Objectives/Goal: We assessed the impact of our intervention (AccessKCTeen) on care access.

Methods/Design: We trained four peer leaders to share SRH/MH information and mobilize their networks to attend AccessKCTeen outreach events. We partnered with community organizations to host events where we demonstrated telemedicine, shared resources for SRH/MH care, and discussed and distributed free health items (e.g. emergency contraception (EC), condoms, pregnancy tests, hand sanitizer). Teens completed surveys prior to, immediately after, and one-month after engaging with AccessKCTeen. We calculated summary statistics to describe demographics, health needs, confidence to access care, satisfaction, health item uptake, and SRH/MH care utilization. Study staff documented participant engagement and feedback via field notes. We used chi square tests to compare pre and post-intervention measures of confidence to access care and health care trust.

Results: At eight AccessKCTeen events, we enrolled 98 teens (mean age 15.8 years, characteristics in Table 1). At post-intervention, 86% were satisfied, 76% felt it was “very/somewhat” likely they would use telemedicine in the future, and 86% would recommend AccessKCTeen to a friend. Many accepted EC (36%), condoms (36%), pregnancy tests (23%), and hand sanitizer (56%). Compared to baseline, more teens reported confidence to access telemedicine (52% vs. 78%, p < 0.001) post-intervention. At follow-up (n=60), 22% had obtained care since enrollment; of these, most discussed SRH (69%) and MH (54%). Field notes revealed benefits of telemedicine including privacy, ease of use, and increased access to care for sensitive health needs. Participants felt MH care is “desperately needed” but seeking care has negative stigma. Participants voiced they “need facts” and accurate information on SRH and education on “abstinence is not enough.” Many did not know EC was available without a prescription or the timeframe for use.

Conclusions: As COVID-19 continues to complicate access, programs like AccessKCTeen can increase immediate access to health items and build adolescent confidence in careseeking. Study is needed to understand associations between improved confidence with care-seeking behaviors.