Document Type

Service Learning/Capstone Experience

Graduation Date

5-2019

Degree Name

Master of Public Health

Department

Health Promotion

First Committee Member

Armando de Alba, MD, MPH

Second Committee Member

Melissa Tibbits, PhD

Third Committee Member

Jennie Hill, PhD

Fourth Committee Member

Luis P. Vazquez, BS

Abstract

Background. Rates for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Douglas County, specifically gonorrhea and chlamydia, are among the highest in the nation. Adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 are one of the most at-risk groups for acquiring either STI. Though not fatal itself, gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to serious complications and physical discomfort in both males and females. Evidence-based and age-appropriate sexual health education has been proven to reduce the risk of STIs. Studies have shown that comprehensive education programs with a focus beyond abstinence are effective in promoting safe sex practices.

Aim. This project is a pilot evaluation aimed at identifying the impact on self-efficacy skills and knowledge related to sexual health and use of services of Omaha adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 attending OneWorld’s supplemental sexual health education sessions on STIs.

Methods. A mixed methods approach which combined a survey and focus groups were used to collect data. The brief survey collected general demographic data and information on levels of comfort with discussing sexual health. Additionally, two focus groups with a total of 21 participants between the ages of 13 and 19 were conducted in OneWorld’s STI educational session. The qualitative data collected were transcribed and coded for common themes. Survey data were analyzed with the use of SPSS to summarize the socio-demographic makeup of the focus group participants. As part of the evaluation, a logic model was created to visualize the resources used, the activities performed, the current outputs of the workshop, and the expected outcomes for the short, intermediate, and long term. Additionally, a brief SWOT analysis was done to facilitate the process of clearly identifying both internal and external factors that impact the workshop the most.

Results. Of the 21 participants, about two-thirds were female (76.2%). Almost all self-identified as Hispanic/Latino (95.2%) with the majority being of Mexican, Mexican American, or Chicano/a origin. 90.5% of participants indicated that they often or always agreed to be confident in identifying sources and information for a sexual health concern. Additionally, the following main themes were identified from the focus group component: Information, Barriers, Strengths, and Recommendations.

Impact of the project. The pilot evaluation was created as an initial step for further evaluation of the supplemental sexual health education workshops given by OneWorld. Results will also allow its educators to either modify their work based on these initial results or use the pilot evaluation to create a more comprehensive evaluation plan.

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