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Worldviews Evid Based Nurs. 2014 Apr;11(2):107-17. doi: 10.1111/wvn.12017. Epub 2013 Sep 30.

A systematic review of reviews of behavioral interventions to promote condom use.

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  • 1Associate Professor, College of Nursing, The Ohio State University and Nurse Scientist, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH.



Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major public health problem. Realistically, condom use is still the primary means to prevent STIs. Because many behavioral intervention studies have been performed to increase condom use across multiple populations and many reviews have been done, a review of all these reviews is warranted.


The purpose of this paper is to examine Level I evidence of behavioral intervention studies to promote condom use. The purpose of this evidence-based practice (EBP) review is to examine the evidence and determine: (a) if behavioral interventions are effective; and (b) if they are, what are the common characteristics of successful interventions that need to be implemented in practice.


A systematic search for literature was conducted in the following databases: Cochrane Library, Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), MEDLINE, PubMed, and Psychological and Behavioral Sciences Collection. The following parameters were used for the search: (a) a meta-analysis or level 1 synthesis of literature containing only intervention (randomized control trials or quasi-experimental) studies; (b) peer-reviewed journals; (c) published in the past 10 years (2002-2012); (d) had adolescents or adults as the sample (13-44 years of age); and (e) were published in English.


Behavioral interventions were effective in promoting condom use and other safer sexual practices and reducing STIs. They were not effective in promoting abstinence. Tailoring to certain characteristics of the population and including skills building exercises were primary characteristics in the successful interventions


There is a preponderance of evidence that behavioral interventions do promote condom use and reduce STIs across diverse groups of individuals. Clinicians can use these interventions with confidence in practice.

© 2013 Sigma Theta Tau International.


adolescent; adult; health behavior; risk-taking; sexual abstinence; sexual activity; sexual behavior; sexually transmitted diseases; women

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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