Identifying and addressing gaps in reproductive health education for adolescent girls with type 1 diabetes.
Authors of this article are:
Kohn JR, Hilliard ME, Lyons SK, Fox KA, Kushner JA.
A summary of the article is shown below:
AIMS: Adolescent girls with diabetes are at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes due to age, risk-taking behavior, poor glycemic control, and lack of knowledge. Our aims were to assess attitudes and behaviors related to reproductive health education (RHE) among diabetes healthcare providers and adolescent girls with diabetes, and to pilot a brief clinic-based RHE intervention.METHODS: We surveyed 29 providers and 50 adolescent girls with type 1 diabetes about RHE experiences, attitudes, and behaviors. We piloted the RHE intervention with 9 adolescent-parent dyads.RESULTS: 50% of providers were very uncomfortable discussing pregnancy or contraception. Most (72%) did not proactively initiate RHE; common barriers included insufficient time and subject knowledge. Fewer than 10% recommended long-acting reversible contraceptives. A minority (10%) of adolescents had discussed pregnancy or contraception with a provider. RHE sessions lasted a median of 16 (range 13-24) minutes, and there were promising trends for changes in adolescents’ self-efficacy and intentions to use contraception and seek preconception counseling and in their knowledge of reproductive health.CONCLUSION: Adolescent girls with diabetes rarely receive education on pregnancy and contraception due to provider discomfort, limited knowledge, and limited time. RHE using easily-accessible materials with an educator may help address this gap in care.
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