Background: The rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy in adolescents remain high in the United States. Over the past two decades medical clinics have been established in schools to improve adolescents’ access to reproductive healthcare. In Washington (WA) State, only one school district has Teen Health Centers (THC).
Objectives: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of these clinics on unintended pregnancy and STIs in adolescents within the
Methods: This is an ecological study of 1990-2006 WA State Department of Health surveillance data. We compared General Fertility Rates (GFR) of non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black and Hispanic 15-19 year-old females in
Results: Over fifteen years, GFR dropped form 42.5 to 14.8 per 1000 in
Conclusions: These results must be interpreted with the inherent limitations of ecological studies. However, our results are consistent with the association of Teen Health Centers reducing unintended pregnancy in adolescents.
Implications for Programs, Policy, and/or Research: This study initiates effectiveness assessments of school-based clinics in reducing adolescent health morbidity and a more definitive study is needed. Proving the degree of THC effectiveness has potential implications for the programmatic approach to adolescent healthcare delivery.