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Community Research Programs

Making a measurable difference in our community

OhioHealth routinely conducts research that is intended to affect the social determinants of health, addressing concerns that can improve the health of our whole community.

Two research studies by OhioHealth were designed to discover interventions that could help reduce the rate of teen pregnancy and rapid repeat teen births, a significant factor in central Ohio’s high infant mortality rate.

Healthy Adolescent Transitions

The long-term objective of the Healthy Adolescent Transitions (HAT) program is to support the reproductive health and other life goals of the high-risk group of low-income, adolescent mothers.

This interdisciplinary model features insights from psychology, economics and marketing, with the goal of improving individual decision-making skills. The intervention components are based on the theoretical framework of Behavioral Economics. For our current study, we posit that nurse-led or counselor-led education and Behavioral Economics-based “nudges” will promote and reinforce positive behaviors without encouraging participants to engage in behaviors that they do not want to do.

The study population includes patients that have a prenatal appointment at any OhioHealth outpatient center ages 14-19 years of age. The educational components address financial literacy, healthy eating, academic and career goals, healthy birth spacing, HPV vaccination and establishing a medical home.

Healthy Adolescent Transitions is designed to expand upon the success of the Teen Options to Prevent Pregnancy (TOPP) program.

For more information, email Robyn Lutz or call (614) 566.9085.

Teen Options to Prevent Pregnancy

The Teen Options to Prevent Pregnancy (TOPP) program was designed to reduce rapid repeat teen births by helping young women identify goals, achieve self-sufficiency, access housing and financial stability, develop successful parenting skills and establish healthy relationships. The Administration from Children and Families provided OhioHealth with funding for TOPP initiatives from 2010 to 2016*.

The three components of the program were:

  • Home-based and phone-based care coordination, using motivational interviewing.
  • Access to contraceptive counseling, using a leased van.
  • Psychosocial assessments.

Teen Options to Prevent Pregnancy acknowledged the importance of caring for with the whole teenager, emotionally and physically, a reflection of OhioHealth’s commitment to honor the dignity and worth of each person.

Results of TOPP

OhioHealth conducted a randomized controlled trial with 600 participants to test the efficacy of the TOPP program. According to an April 2016 U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) evidence review, an evaluation found that TOPP participants were more likely to report using a highly effective long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) method, and less likely to report having sex in the past three months. Participants also reported greater access to contraceptive services.

The Final Impact Report shows that the program had a nearly 50 percent reduction in rapid repeat pregnancy in the intervention group of their randomized controlled trial.

*The TOPP program was made possible by Grant Number 90AP2668 from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. Its contents are solely the responsibility of OhioHealth and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families