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Health Educ Res. 2017 Jun 1;32(3):233-243. doi: 10.1093/her/cyx040.

Randomized controlled trial of abstinence and safer sex intervention for adolescents in Singapore: 6-month follow-up.

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Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.
Department of STI Control, National Skin Centre, Singapore.
PAPRSB Institute of Health Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Brunei.


We assessed the efficacy of an individual-based behavioral intervention on sexually transmitted infections' (STI) risk-reduction behaviors in Singapore. A randomized controlled trial of a behavioral intervention compared to usual care was conducted on sexually active heterosexual adolescents aged 16-19 years attending the only public STI clinic. The intervention included two on-site skills-based sessions targeting individual, relational and environmental influences on sexual behaviors, followed by online support. Participants were assessed at baseline and 6-month follow-up. Primary outcomes were self-reported abstinence, number of partners and consistent condom use for vaginal sex. We recruited 337 adolescents to the intervention and 351 to usual care (controls). Fifty-nine percent of intervention participants and 53% of controls completed follow-up. Young men [adjusted risk ratio (RR) 2.03; 95% CI, 1.25-3.30], but not young women, in the intervention were more likely than controls to report secondary abstinence. More non-abstinent young women in the intervention than controls kept to one partner (adjusted RR, 1.25; 95% CI, 1.04-1.50) compared to no differences in young men. There was no intervention effect on consistent condom use in both genders. Skill-based intervention can promote abstinence in young men and keeping to one partner in young women in a clinic setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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