Improving Capacity at School-based Health Centers to Offer Adolescents Counseling and Access to Comprehensive Contraceptive Services

J Pediatr Adolesc Gynecol. 2021 Feb;34(1):26-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jpag.2020.07.010. Epub 2020 Jul 28.


Study objectives: Many pediatric providers serving adolescents are not trained to offer comprehensive contraceptive services, including intrauterine devices (IUDs) and implants, despite high safety and satisfaction among adolescents. This study assessed an initiative to train providers at school-based health centers (SBHCs) to offer students the full range of contraceptive methods.

Design: Surveys were administered at baseline pre-training and at follow-up 3 months post-training. Data were analyzed using generalized estimating equations for clustered data to examine clinical practice changes.

Setting: Eleven contraceptive trainings at SBHCs across the United States from 2016-2019.

Participants: A total of 260 providers from 158 SBHCs serving 135,800 students.

Interventions: On-site training to strengthen patient-centered counseling and to equip practitioners to integrate IUDs and implants into contraceptive services.

Main outcome measures: The outcomes included counseling experience on IUDs and implants, knowledge of patient eligibility, and clinician method skills.

Results: At follow-up, providers were significantly more likely to report having enough experience to counsel on IUDs (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 4.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.62-6.36]) and implants (aOR, 3.06; 95% CI, 2.05-4.57). Provider knowledge about patient eligibility for IUDs, including for adolescents, increased (P < .001). Providers were more likely to offer same-visit IUD (aOR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.41-3.12) and implant services (aOR, 1.66; 95% CI, 1.44-1.91). Clinicians' skills with contraceptive devices improved, including for a newly available low-cost IUD (aOR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.45-3.36).

Conclusions: Offering evidence-based training is a promising approach to increase counseling and access to comprehensive contraceptive services at SBHCs.

Keywords: Adolescents; Contraception; IUDs; Implants; School-based health centers; Training.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Capacity Building / organization & administration*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Contraception / methods*
  • Counseling / education*
  • Counseling / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intrauterine Devices
  • School Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States