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J Adolesc Health Care. 1990 Sep;11(5):445-8.

Incentives and their influence on appointment compliance in a teenage family-planning clinic.

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  • 1Population Program, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether or not the family-planning compliance patterns of indigent adolescents could be influenced by various types of incentives. From February 1988 through January 1989, 534 postpartum inner city teenagers, aged 12-19, who delivered at a large city-county public hospital, participated. Teens were randomly assigned to two treatment groups that either offered a coupon for milk for the infant or a gift for the teenage mother if they returned for their postpartum visit 4-6 weeks after delivery. A third group, which used no incentive for appointment keeping, acted as a control. Although overall compliance was low, a significant relationship was found between type of program incentive and compliance outcome. The program using milk coupons as an incentive had the best compliance rate. This incentive appeared to be most effective with black adolescents. Such incentive programs, although not without controversy, offer a potential way to enhance postpartum contraceptive appointment-keeping compliance in a high-risk population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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