An Interactive Website to Promote Condom Use among Adolescents Abstract Youth represent half of all sexually transmitted infections (STIs) contracted in the United States each year. Despite the success of Information, Motivation, Behavioral Skills (IMB)-based sexual health interventions in promoting condom use among youth, sizable percentages of youth who receive interventions subsequently engage in inconsistent condom use and contract STIs. While behavior change theories - such as the IMB model of HIV-risk reduction - are useful in targeting areas for intervention, an individual's adoption of recommended behavior change may depend on the successful application of communication theory. The internet is an ideal forum to test whether different types of health communications are attended to, understood, and accepted by young people, because they can provide immediate feedback on health communications. Young people feel comfortable using the internet to obtain sexual health information and to express sexuality-related concerns to health professionals. The objective of this application is to develop and conduct a feasibility study of an interactive sexual health website to promote condom use and other healthy decision-making in the context of sexual and romantic relationships. The broad, long-term goal of this research is to reduce the incidence of STIs among youth. The proposed study has two aims: (1) Develop Version 1.0 of a theoretically informed, highly interactive website promoting condom use, based on findings from formative research conducted by the PI;and (2) Conduct a feasibility study of the interactive website among sexually active adolescents to inform a full-scale randomized controlled trial of the resulting website intervention. The website intervention will feature the following interactive technologies: (1) Moderated discussion between adolescent website users, whose identities are protected, and health professionals on our research team via a sexual health and relationship concerns message board;(2) Continual updating of website content based on new barriers to condom use and relationship concerns identified by adolescents over time;(3) Video clips of young role models who provide and clarify information, encourage motivation to engage in health protective behavior, and demonstrate behavioral skills (e.g., negotiation);(4) Forums for website users to privately and publicly evaluate video clips;and (5) Searchable, easily navigable archives of video and text. The proposed work illustrates how the internet can be used to improve the conceptualization and delivery of health interventions for young people.

Public Health Relevance

An Interactive Website to Promote Condom Use among Adolescents Significance to public health: An interactive website that allows adolescents to shape the content of a sexual health intervention and interact with one another and health professionals on an ongoing basis may promote continual engagement and acceptance of condom use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Planning Grant (R34)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-E (08))
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Pequegnat, Willo
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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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