Intervention to Decrease Risk for STDs and Unintended Pregnancies in Active Duty Military Women

Investigator: Cherrie B. Boyer, PhD
Sponsor: U.S. Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity

Location(s): United States


Unintended pregnancies (UIPs) and STDs with their sequelae of ectopic pregnancy continue to be epidemic among active duty enlisted women. Such reproductive health problems result in major morbidity among affected women as well as posing a potential threat to combat readiness. UIPs and STDs result from complex interactions between biological and behavioral factors in military women. The ultimate control in preventing such morbidities must rely on both behavioral and biologic strategies. The primary aim of the project is to develop, implement and evaluate an intervention which emphasizes correct information, motivation and behavioral skills building (IMB Model) coupled with non-invasive screening using urine-based amplified DNA techniques to detect C. trachomatis and N. gonorrhoeae and urine based pregnancy testing. A pre-test, post-test experimental design was employed to evaluate the impact of the behavioral intervention on the experimental group using both self-report questionnaires (UIP/STD psychosocial and behavioral risk factors) and results from the STD and pregnancy screening tests as measures. The control intervention will consist of a prevention program focusing on nutrition breast cancer, fitness and injury prevention. Questionnaires and urine testing will be done at pre-test, mid-study and post-test 6-12 months later. Subjects will include junior enlisted Marine women with N=100 in the experimental group and N=100 in the control group.