(Press-News.org) A new texting intervention that University of British Columbia researchers helped develop is more effective at promoting healthy sexual decision-making and reducing pregnancies among sexual minority teens than most existing interventions in the U.S.
Girl2Girl, developed and tested by the Center for Innovative Public Health Research (CIPHR) in San Clemente, Calif., in partnership with UBC’s Stigma and Resilience Among Vulnerable Youth Centre, is the first texting-based intervention specifically aimed at lesbian and bisexual teens.
“For more than 30 years, research in the U.S., Canada, and other countries has shown lesbian and bisexual girls have higher risk for teen pregnancy than their heterosexual peers,” said Dr. Michele Ybarra (she/her), executive director of CIPHR and lead author of the study. “Yet existing sexual health education and teen pregnancy prevention programs haven’t addressed their unique needs. Girl2Girl was designed to share the knowledge, motivation and skills they need to make safe and healthy decisions.”
In a large randomized trial, outlined in a paper published today in Pediatrics, the intervention’s positive effects on behaviours lasted 12 months or more. The trial included 948 cisgender lesbian and bisexual girls across the U.S. ages 14 to 18 from a diversity of backgrounds. The participants were randomized to receive either five weeks of text messages every day about sexual health information tailored to their needs, or five weeks of text messages about nutrition, exercise and other health promotion.
“Girl2Girl puts information literally in the palm of their hands,” noted Dr. Ybarra. “It makes it more available to teens in rural and remote regions where sexual-health services might be limited, and it is tailored to the real-world knowledge that lesbian, bisexual and queer girls need that might not be covered in sex education.”
The researchers found that those who received the tailored sexual-health information had increased use of condoms and contraception five months after starting the program—surpassing the outcomes of many teen-pregnancy prevention programs and most e-health interventions. More notably, researchers found that these healthy behaviours were sustained 12 months after completing the program.
“The follow-up for most e-health interventions and teen pregnancy prevention programs is pretty short,” explained co-author Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc (she/her), UBC professor of nursing. “It’s rare to have data for even six months after the program. But we followed girls a full 12 months after the intervention ended, and we saw continued positive health behaviours.”
Although there were too few pregnancies during that time in the Girl2Girl and control groups to see statistically significant differences, the changes in behaviours leading to pregnancy offered promising evidence that this program helps long-term health behaviour changes, Dr. Saewyc noted, adding that the intervention could benefit Canadian teens as well.
“Teen pregnancy is much lower in Canada than the U.S., but our research finds lesbian and bi girls are still at twice the risk as heterosexual girls. Other sexual health issues, such as sexually transmitted infections, remain a concern here in Canada,” she said. “Most young people in Canada have mobile phones, and an intervention that reaches them, and can be adapted to our Canadian context, can help ensure we close the gap in sexual health outcomes for all young people.”
The intervention was funded by the US Office of Population Health and the National Institutes of Health.
OMG, texting intervention prevents teen pregnancy among lesbian and bisexual girls
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Employees tend to avoid taking breaks despite high levels of stress
Heavy workloads make employees feel a greater need for a break, but new research finds they may actually discourage employees from taking breaks at work despite causing high levels of stress, fatigue, and poor performance. Researchers from the University of Waterloo found employees often kept working despite wanting to pause. One potential reason is employees may have felt pressure to continue working to get everything done on time. “Our research provides a comprehensive account of the processes involved in the decision to take a break and provides insights into how employees and managers can make more effective use of breaks at work, ...
Aging | AAV1.NT-3 gene therapy prevents age-related sarcopenia
“Considering the cost and quality of life to the individual, we believe our study has important implications for management of age-related sarcopenia.” BUFFALO, NY- March 15, 2023 – A new research paper was published on the cover of Aging (listed by MEDLINE/PubMed as "Aging (Albany NY)" and "Aging-US" by Web of Science) Volume 15, Issue 5, entitled, “AAV1.NT-3 gene therapy prevents age-related sarcopenia.” Sarcopenia is progressive loss of muscle mass and strength occurring during normal aging with significant consequences on the quality of life for elderly. Neurotrophin 3 (NT-3) is an important autocrine factor supporting ...
Where the sidewalk ends
It’s easier than ever to view maps of any place you’d like to go — by car, that is. By foot is another matter. Most cities and towns in the U.S. do not have sidewalk maps, and pedestrians are usually left to fend for themselves: Can you walk from your hotel to the restaurants on the other side of the highway? Is there a shortcut from downtown to the sports arena? And how do you get to that bus stop, anyway? Now MIT researchers, along with colleagues from multiple other universities, have developed an open-source tool that uses aerial imagery and image-recognition to create complete maps of sidewalks and crosswalks. The tool can help planners, policymakers, ...
HSE researchers examine wellbeing of Russian social media users and rank public holidays by popularity
Researchers of the HSE Graduate School of Business trained a machine-learning (ML) model to infer users' subjective wellbeing from social media posts. Having processed 10 million tweets, the researchers compiled a rating of holidays celebrated in Russia based on their popularity. The New Year tops the list, but Russian-speaking users of Twitter are also happy to celebrate Defender of the Fatherland Day, International Women's Day, Victory Day and Halloween. The study findings have been published in PeerJ Computer Science. As one of the most popular methods for ...
Good news for those with MS—fertility treatments not linked to increase in relapses
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 4 P.M. ET, WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15, 2023 MINNEAPOLIS – There’s good news for those with multiple sclerosis (MS). A new study has found that female participants were no more likely to have a flare-up of the disease after receiving fertility treatments than they were before their treatments. The study is published in the March 15, 2023, online issue of Neurology® Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation, an official journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Earlier studies had shown conflicting results. The study also found a link between the use of MS medications and a lack of increase in relapses during fertility ...
UTA team to measure pollutants in DC sewer pipe project
A University of Texas at Arlington civil engineering researcher received a one-year, $300,000 competitive grant from the Water Research Foundation to evaluate a trenchless process to renew sanitary sewer pipes in Soapstone Valley Park, a popular Washington, D.C., attraction. Mohammad Najafi, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, is leading the project. Najafi said the project will use a trenchless cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) method that relines the old sewer pipe with new plastic material. That material then is cured in place with hot water. “We will ...
Tak W. Mak, PhD, FAACR, selected for 2023 Pezcoller Foundation-AACR International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research
PHILADELPHIA – The Pezcoller Foundation–American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) International Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Cancer Research will be presented to Tak W. Mak, PhD, Fellow of the AACR Academy, during the AACR Annual Meeting 2023, April 14-19 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Mak is a senior scientist at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, as well as a university professor in the departments of medical biophysics and immunology at the Temerty Faculty of Medicine ...
Kermanshachi receives 40 Under 40 award
Sharareh “Sherri” Kermanshachi, a University of Texas at Arlington associate professor of civil engineering, has received the 40 Under 40 Award from Mass Transit magazine, which recognizes individuals who have shown a capacity for innovation and demonstrated leadership and a commitment to making an impact in transit. “I am honored and humbled to receive this award and be named to the 40 Under 40 Mass Transit award list,” said Kermanshachi, who is also director of the Resilient Infrastructures and Sustainable Environment ...
Nobel Laureate Carolyn R. Bertozzi, PhD, to receive 2023 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research
PHILADELPHIA – The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) will honor Nobel Laureate Carolyn R. Bertozzi, PhD, with the 2023 AACR Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemistry in Cancer Research during the AACR Annual Meeting 2023, April 14-19 in Orlando, Florida. Bertozzi is the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry in the School of Humanities and Sciences and a professor (by courtesy) of chemical and systems biology and of radiology at Stanford University, an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Baker Family Director of Sarafan ChEM-H. Bertozzi is being recognized for advancing basic ...
Study offers a potential strategy to improve T cell therapy in solid tumors
PHILADELPHIA – A new approach that delivers a “one-two punch” to help T cells attack solid tumors is the focus of a preclinical study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), showed that targeting two regulators that control gene functions related to inflammation led to at least 10 times greater T cell expansion in models, resulting in increased antitumor immune activity and durability. CAR T cell therapy was pioneered at Penn Medicine by ...