Research from the Field

Medicaid Benefits Available for the Prevention, Detection and Response to the Zika Virus

This Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS) bulletin highlights, among other prevention strategies, the role that reproductive health counseling and contraceptive service provision plays in preventing the spread of Zika virus disease. In support of this work, CMCS recommends that LARC services be reimbursed at a “reasonable” rate, which should include reimbursement for the device, insertion, and removal procedures. The bulletin also speaks to the importance of reproductive health education and family planning services as key strategies to decreasing the spread of Zika virus and maternal-fetal transmission. This bulletin is important as it cements the critical role that family planning providers play in the reduction of unintended pregnancy and transmission of Zika virus, as well as support fiscally sustainable provision of the gamut of FDA-approved contraceptive services.

To access the full bulletin, click here.


Accessing sexual health information online: use, motivations and consequences for youth with different sexual orientations

This article by Mitchell et al. explores why youth of different sexual orientations are motivated to search for sexual health information online and how this information is used. The study suggests that youth who identify as gay, lesbian, or queer are significantly more likely to turn to the internet for information on sex, largely motivated by issues of privacy and the absence of people to turn to for information. The findings suggest that the internet is an invaluable source of information for youth of different sexual orientations who have questions or may be curious about their sexual health. Mitchell et al. propose that there is a need to ensure that accurate information on sexual and reproductive health on websites that youth frequent. In addition, the findings speak to the need for reliable and well-informed adults and peers who youth can turn to with questions regarding sexual and reproductive health of individuals of all sexual orientations. These findings are important for Title-X family planning providers to keep in mind, as they are tasked with providing education and services to priority populations at risk for adverse reproductive health outcomes. It speaks to the importance of creating a safe environment where youth can turn to for accurate information, and ensuring that the services provided are inclusive of different sexual orientations.

To access the full article, click here.


Adolescent reproductive knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs and future fatherhood

This article explores the ways in which adolescent males’ reproductive knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs impacts their reproductive outcomes. Garfield et al. analyzed outcomes from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which included over 10,000 adolescent men from across the United States. They found that the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of adolescent men predicted their likelihood of becoming fathers and residing with the child. The analysis found that higher levels of birth control knowledge and self-efficacy were linked to lower odds of adolescent fatherhood. In addition, the belief that getting someone pregnant would “not be all that bad” was linked to an increased likelihood of adolescent fatherhood. This article speaks to the importance of exploring the reproductive knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of young males who present for care in an effort to identify those who may be at higher risk for early fatherhood, providing them with the information and services needed to prevent an unintended pregnancy.

To access the full article, click here.