Associations between health screening questions and sexual risk behaviors in adolescent female clinic patients: identifying a brief question format to yield critical information

Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2008 Jul;47(6):564-72. doi: 10.1177/0009922808314904. Epub 2008 May 8.


This study examines the ability of brief screening questions to identify adolescent girls at high risk for sexually transmitted infections and teen pregnancy. Participants included 103 sexually active 13-year-old to 17-year-old girls recruited from adolescent clinics who (1) were identified as at risk for negative sexual health outcomes through responses to an 8-item Health Screening Survey, and (2) returned to clinic within 2 weeks to complete a self-report survey about sexual risk behaviors and contraceptive use. Analyses examined relationships between girls' total screening scores, individual screening survey items, and 5 self-reported sexual risk behaviors. Higher screening scores correlated with lower levels of refusing unprotected sex and less consistent condom use (P < .05 and P < .01, respectively). High-risk responses to 2 screening items were associated with all 5 sexual risk behaviors. Findings suggest useful questions in routine clinical screening of sexually active adolescent girls to identify those at high levels of sexual risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Contraception / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking
  • Sexual Behavior / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sexual Partners
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*