Intervening with couples: assessing contraceptive outcomes in a randomized pregnancy and HIV/STD risk reduction intervention trial

Womens Health Issues. 2007 Jan-Feb;17(1):52-60. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2006.10.006.


Purpose: This study assessed the contraceptive outcomes of the Partners Against Risk-Taking: A Networking, Evaluation and Research Study (PARTNERS). The PARTNERS project developed and evaluated a 3-session intervention to help young women and their male partners reduce their risk for unintended pregnancies, and HIV and other STDs.

Methods: Participating couples were randomly assigned to the 3-session intervention or a 1-session information session for couples. Changes in psychosocial factors related to women's motivation to use contraception and relationship factors were assessed using analysis of variance with repeated measures. Changes in contraceptive outcomes were assessed using logistic regression with generalized estimating equations.

Results: Comparison of changes from baseline to 6 months among women who participated in the 3-session intervention with those who participated in the information session showed no significant intervention effect on reports of contraceptive use. Instead, contraceptive use increased in both conditions. Both groups exhibited similar changes in the psychosocial variable measuring the importance of avoiding pregnancy and in the relationship variable measuring women's participation in contraceptive decision making. Members of the intervention group, however, showed greater improvement in the psychosocial variable measuring positive expectations pertaining to partner's support for contraception.

Conclusion: These findings raise questions for further investigation to better understand couples behavior, and whether and how to intervene with couples.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Couples Therapy / methods*
  • Family Planning Services / organization & administration
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Unwanted*
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome