BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Less than one-half of sexually active adolescents have received counseling regarding contraception and sexually transmitted disease (STD) from their health care provider. We hypothesized that hospitalized adolescents would be interested in receiving reproductive health education and/or STD testing. In addition, we assessed the opinion of female adolescents on initiation of contraception during hospitalization.
METHODS: A convenience sample of 13- to 18-year-old male and female adolescent patients hospitalized at a tertiary pediatric hospital were approached for inclusion. Consenting patients completed a self-administered anonymous questionnaire.
RESULTS: Questionnaires from 49 female adolescents and from 51 male adolescents were collected. Based on their answers, 37% of female adolescents and 44% of male adolescents want to learn more about contraception and/or abstinence in the hospital independent of sexual activity. Thirty percent of respondents reported a desire for STD testing in the hospital. Fifty-seven percent of female subjects answered that adolescents should be offered contraception while in the hospital.
CONCLUSIONS: Among hospitalized adolescents in this study, there was an interest in reproductive health education and contraception even among those with a primary care provider and without sexual experience. Thus, hospital-based pediatricians can play a pivotal role in expanding critical sexual health services by discussing and offering sexual health care to hospitalized adolescents. We recommend that hospitals make a brochure available to all admitted adolescents, with opportunity for follow-up discussions with their hospitalist.
- reproductive health education
- sexual health education
- sexually transmitted infection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health