Perceived knowledge and training needs in adolescent pregnancy prevention: Results from a multidisciplinary survey

Wendy L. Hellerstedt, Alison E. Smith, Marcia L. Shew, Michael D. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: To examine health care professionals' knowledge and interest in training in adolescent pregnancy prevention and whether an association exists between perceived knowledge and interest in training. Design: A cross- sectional mailed survey. Participants: Random, stratified sample design that identified 800 psychologists, 800 social workers, 1000 nurses, and 400 pediatricians from national professional membership lists. Response rate to the mailed survey was 51%. After removing respondents who did not currently work with adolescents, 1242 surveys (41%) were available for analyses. Main Outcome Measures: Descriptive analyses were conducted on self-report data concerning perceived knowledge and interest in training about adolescent pregnancy prevention separately for each of the 4 disciplines. Within disciplines, perceived knowledge and interest in training were correlated for each of 3 content areas (ie, sex education and contraceptive counseling, adolescent pregnancy, and counseling after a negative pregnancy test) and for a summary measure of the content areas. Results: Less than half of the nursing, pediatrics, psychology, and social work professionals reported high perceived knowledge in the 3 content areas. Psychologists and social workers reported the lowest perceived knowledge. However, with the exception of psychologists, more than two thirds of the other respondents reported moderate or high interest in training in the 3 content areas. Interest in training was not strongly correlated with perceived knowledge within any discipline. Conclusions: The need to integrate psychosocial components into adolescent health care is a core assumption in the field, yet these data indicate that psychologists and social workers perceive low levels of knowledge and interest in training. These disciplines may benefit from more targeted professional training about their role in preventing adolescent pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-684
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this