Methods: Our interdisciplinary team (social work/public health/medicine) delivered Wahine Talk to female YEH (N=68) aged 14-22 years (M=17.66, SD=2.38) in a series of cycles. We collected detailed provider- and participant-reported process and outcome measures during and for 12 months following Wahine Talk.
Results: Wahine Talk participants’ self-reported readiness to use any type of birth control and linkage to sexual healthcare increased significantly* from pre- to post-test. Birth control usage rates tripled at post-test, with 48.5% of Wahine Talk participants using any type of birth control, compared to 14.7% before the program. Long acting reversible contraception (LARC) was the most popular type of birth control selected, with 30.9% of youth still using LARC at 12 months post-Wahine Talk, compared to 0% at pre-test and 27.9% at post-test. Six pregnancies occurred during and within 12 months of youths’ completion of the program.
Conclusions and Implications: YEH, especially young women, are among the most vulnerable populations in society. Addressing their sexual health and well-being requires comprehensive, accessible, and multi-level prevention. Systems that are responsive, inviting, and focused on trauma-informed services are well-positioned to enhance youths’ self-determination and their ability to make well-informed sexual health choices. Holistic approaches such as Wahine Talk have the potential to dramatically improve youths’ sexual healthcare access and adoption of birth control.
(*p < .05)