Long-Term Effects of the Booster-Enhanced READY-Girls Preconception Counseling Program on Intentions and Behaviors for Family Planning in Teens With Diabetes

  1. Julie Downs, PHD5
  1. 1University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  2. 2Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  3. 3Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri
  4. 4University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  5. 5Department of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  1. Corresponding author: Denise Charron-Prochownik, dcpro{at}


OBJECTIVE Examine 12-month effects of a booster-enhanced preconception counseling (PC) program (READY-Girls) on family planning for teen girls with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Participants 13–19 years of age (n = 109) were randomized to a standard care control group (CG) or intervention group (IG) that received PC over three consecutive clinic visits. Prepost data were collected at baseline, 3- and 6-month booster sessions, and a 12-month follow-up visit.

RESULTS Mean age was 15.8 years; 9 (8%) subjects had type 2 diabetes; and 18 (17%) subjects were African American. At baseline, 20% (n = 22 of 109) had been sexually active, and of these, 50% (n = 11) had at least one episode of unprotected sex. Over time, IG participants retained greater PC knowledge (F[6,541] = 4.05, P = 0.0005) and stronger intentions regarding PC (significant group-by-time effects) especially after boosters. IG participants had greater intentions to discuss PC (F[6, 82.4] = 2.56, P = 0.0254) and BC (F[6,534] = 3.40, P = 0.0027) with health care providers (HCPs) and seek PC when planning a pregnancy (F[6,534] = 2.58, P = 0.0180). Although not significant, IG participants, compared with CG, showed a consistent trend toward lower rates of overall sexual activity over time: less sexual debut (35 vs. 41%) and higher rates of abstinence (44 vs. 32%). No pregnancies were reported in either group throughout the study.

CONCLUSIONS READY-Girls appeared to have long-term sustaining effects on PC knowledge, beliefs, and intentions to initiate discussion with HCPs that could improve reproductive health behaviors and outcomes. Strong boosters and providing PC at each clinic visit could play important roles in sustaining long-term effects.

  • Received February 11, 2013.
  • Accepted July 7, 2013.

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