A Cluster-Randomized Trial of Getting To Outcomes' Impact on Sexual Health Outcomes in Community-Based Settings

Published in: Prevention Science [Epub October 2017]. doi: 10.1007/s11121-017-0845-6

Posted on RAND.org on December 05, 2017

by Matthew Chinman, Joie D. Acosta, Patricia A. Ebener, Patrick S Malone, Mary Ellen Slaughter

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The USA has high teen pregnancy rates compared to other developed nations. Many community-based organizations need assistance conducting evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention programs (EBPs) appropriately. This study evaluated the impact of an implementation support intervention called Getting To Outcomes (GTO) designed to help such organizations. This cluster randomized controlled trial compared 16 Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCs) implementing a teen pregnancy prevention EBP called Making Proud Choices for two years, with 16 BGCs implementing MPC augmented with GTO training, tools, and technical assistance. Participating middle school youth were compared on proximal outcomes (knowledge, attitudes, and intentions about sex and condoms from baseline to post) and sexual behaviors (frequency of sex and condom use, from baseline to 6-month follow-up). In year 1, there were no significant effects of GTO for any proximal outcome. After GTO-stimulated quality improvement in year 2, the GTO group improved significantly more on condom attitudes and use intentions. Frequency of sex and condom use did not differ between the two groups in either year; however, base rates of these behaviors in the sample were very low. Findings suggest that in typical community-based settings, detailed manuals and training common to structured EBPs may be sufficient to yield some improvement in key proximal outcomes, but that more systematic implementation support is needed to achieve greater improvement in these outcomes. Using GTO with many communities, as currently supported by various federal agencies, could yield public health impact via improvements in condom attitudes and use intentions.

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