Sarah Knipper, a PhD student in the Health System & Policy program, is co-author on “Contraceptive provision in Oregon School-Based Health Centers: Method type trends and the role of Title X,” published this spring in the international reproductive health journal Contraception.
Knipper’s research aligns with her area of study at SPH – adolescent health and primary care, with a focus on reducing racial and ethnic inequities. She is currently working on her dissertation proposal, with a working title of “Understanding Adolescent Primary Care Outcomes in the Wake of COVID-19, the Role of Primary Care Systems and the Impact on Racial and Ethnic Disparities”.
In her current position as a School Health Epidemiologist with the Public Health Division of the Oregon Health Authority, she works in the adolescent health unit overseeing data, evaluation and analytics work related to school-based health centers and adolescent health. In the long term. In the long term, she hopes to elevate OHA’s policy attention to adolescents and school-age youth by doing more statewide policy development.
About the study
Funded by Office of Population Affairs (OPA), the study published in Contraception looked at providing contraception to adolescents at Oregon school-based health centers (SBHCs), examining trends over time, by race/ethnicity, and by Title X clinic status and test whether these factors are associated with provision of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC; intrauterine devices/IUDs and implants). The Title X Family Planning Program is a federal grant program for low-income patients to receive family planning and reproductive health services. SBHCs play an important role in providing access to contraceptive services to adolescents in Oregon. Access to IUDs and implants is increasing over time in SBHCs, particularly those that participate in the Title X program.
The study results “demonstrate a strong association between the federal Title X program and overall contraceptive access, and access to IUDs and implants specifically, in Oregon SBHCs. Increased participation in the Title X program by SBHCs could improve contraceptive access and decrease unintended adolescent pregnancy across Oregon, as providers at Title X clinics are required to be trained to offer a broad range of contraceptive methods, including IUDs and implants.” Removing barriers to accessing IUDs and implants and providing counseling based in shared decision-making are important to ensure that adolescents can select the contraceptive that best reflects their needs and preferences.
Dr. Blair G. Darney, an Assistant Professor in the SPH Health Systems Management and Policy programwas the principal investigator in the study. Dr. Darney is a reproductive health services researcher and has an OHSU primary faculty appointment as an Assistant Professor on the OHSU Dept of OB/Gyn, Family Planning Section.
To read the full paper, visit https://doi.org/10.1016/j.contraception.2021.03.020