A new study from the University of Maryland (UMD) School Of Public Health evaluated the effectiveness of a patient-centered medical home intervention in preventing rapid repeat pregnancies among teen mothers.
Dr. Amy B. Lewin, assistant professor in the UMD School of Public Health’s Department of Family Science, found that mothers in the Generations program, which integrates social work and mental health services into primary care for teen mothers and their children, were more likely than mothers receiving standard pediatric primary care to be using effective contraception when their children were a year old. The study was funded by a grant from the Human Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
The Generations program is based on a “teen-tot” model, in which the same provider cares for teen parents and their children, often in the same visit, according to Dr. Lewin’s study, which was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. “A patient-centered approach is at the heart of this culturally-competent, relationship-based and holistic model,” wrote Dr. Lewin.
The study participants were African-American mothers, ages 19 or younger. Compared to a group of teen mothers who received standard pediatric care, the Generations program participants were three times more likely to use contraceptives at the 12-month follow-up.
Teen pregnancy rates in the United States are declining but remain the highest among industrialized nations, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. For teenage mothers, a repeat pregnancy can perpetuate poverty, present obstacles for continuing education, and increase the likelihood of depression, wrote Dr. Lewin.
“Overall, these findings have important implications for primary care providers of adolescent parents,” Dr. Lewin wrote in her study. The Generations program can be integrated into primary care settings, using or expanding resources already available.
“Improved Contraceptive Use Among Teen Mothers in Patient-Centered Medical Home” was written by Dr. Amy B. Lewin, UMD colleague Dr. Stephanie Mitchell, Dr. Lee Beers, Dr. Kristine Schmitz and UMD colleague Dr. Michel Boudreaux and was published in Journal of Adolescent Health on July 20, 2016.