The project will consist of four distinct stages. First, it would be crucial to create a sample and to approach potential respondents to tell them more about the project and obtain informed consent. Next, a small group of nurses will carry out the intervention at a healthcare facility. Following the intervention, data will be collected from the participants using semi-structured interviews. Finally, the results will be analyzed using a qualitative approach. The results of the project will be presented in writing, with tables and other visual tools if necessary. Overall, the project will take around six months to complete and will not require extensive financial or other resources.
The first stage of the project is to define the sample and obtain informed consent from the potential participants. As the research will focus primarily on the local community, the respondents will be local female residents. Because the purpose of the research is to study interventions for teenage pregnancy, it would be useful to focus on female teenagers as the primary subject groups. To attract participants, information about the study should be distributed in local schools and colleges. For instance, it would be useful to make posters with the key information about the study, contact details, and a reward for participating. Establishing a financial reward could help to attract more participants, thus creating a sufficient sample size. A financial reward is especially relevant for teens that do not have an independent income yet and have to rely on parents for pocket money to spend on entertainment or activities. Alternatively, non-financial rewards such as cinema tickets or gift vouchers could be used to attract female teens to participate in the study.
Determining the age range of the participants is also important, as it affects the scope of the study. The set age range of the participants for this study should be between 13 and 18 years old, as the vast majority of studies on teenage pregnancy consider this age range (Lavin & Cox, 2012). Some of the studies also include participants over 18 years old. For instance, research on the provision of no-cost contraception conducted by Secura et al. (2014) included participants aged 15-19. However, as the present study will focus on an educational intervention, we will seek to attract participants who are younger and have limited access to education on safe sexual practices. Women who are over 18 years of age, on the other hand, are probably less shy to search for information or consult care providers. Therefore, the vast majority of the participants will be middle or high school students, which makes local schools a perfect space for advertising the study. However, some school authorities might not allow advertising sexual education interventions in academic facilities, which is why other options are required. For instance, local shops or cinemas could agree to distribute flyers or display posters about the study. The key eligibility criteria that will be applied to the participants are age (13-18), gender (female), and sexual orientation (heterosexual or bisexual). No distinction will be made between sexually active applicants and those who are not, as the intervention is designed to promote safe sex practices in the future. Sufficient sample size will include between 30 and 40 participants, who will be separated into several groups for the intervention.
Finally, the first stage will also include finding a group of nurses who would agree to carry out the educational intervention. It would be preferable to recruit nurses working in OB/GYN settings or those who have experience in caring for pregnant teenagers. Nurses will be recruited from local hospitals or clinics and will be paid to conduct two three-hour classes with each group. The number of nurses required will depend on the number of groups, with at least one nurse required for each group.
The second stage of the project will be focused on the educational intervention itself. Participants will be separated into groups of 6-8 persons for nurses to be able to answer individual questions at the end of the session. Both classes will be three hours long, with one bathroom break and one coffee break, which would enable the participants to relax and feel more comfortable during the class.
The intervention will consist of four parts: first, nurses will assess the current knowledge of the participants by performing a short interview with the group. The nurse will take notes of the answers, as these will indicate the overall knowledge of safe sex practices. Next, the nurse will perform a presentation highlighting the key issues that could result from sexual health practices, including STDs and unintended pregnancy. The second session will start with a presentation on contraception methods and ways to obtain medical help if required. At the end of each class, nurses will leave about 20 to 25 minutes for a Q&A session, allowing participants to ask further questions. Pens and paper should be available to the participants throughout the class so that they could take notes of the material and contact details provided. Overall, the intervention will focus on the most pressing sexual health concerns, establishing the need for contraception, and regular STD screening.
Stage 3 will include data collection. The main data collection method used in the study is a semi-structured interview. The interview will seek to address the participants’ perceptions of the intervention and its effectiveness. For instance, the interview will address factors such as clarity of information, friendliness of nurses, and improved knowledge of sexual health practices. Moreover, the patients will also be encouraged to provide feedback and suggest areas for improvement. If possible, interviews with all of the participants will be conducted. However, a sample of 20 participants would also be sufficient.
Qualitative data collection tools, including semi-structured interviews, allow obtaining valuable insight into the participants’ perceptions and the context of the intervention (Gelling, 2014). The vast majority of previous studies of teen pregnancy did not take participants’ opinions on the intervention into account, instead of focusing on quantitative outcomes. This could be a major limitation of prior research on the topic, as the subjects’ perception of the intervention could affect adherence to recommendations. Thus, the present research will seek to obtain a detailed understanding of the participants’ views of the intervention.
The final stage of the project will include data analysis. The use of the grounded theory approach would allow identifying common themes and patterns identified by respondents. Each interview will be analyzed individually before all results are overviewed as a whole. This would help to determine individual differences between the responses and suggest possible reasons for the variation, such as age or level of sexual activity of the participant. The data will be presented in written form with supporting visuals where needed. For instance, tables can be used to identify how many participants agreed that the intervention was useful and had an influence on their future sexual behaviors.
Timeline and Budget
The project will take about six months, depending on the number of applications and responses received. The general timeline is as follows:
- Preparation – 2 weeks
- Stage 1 – 4 weeks
- Stage 2 – 4 weeks
- Stage 3 – 6 weeks
- Stage 4 – 4 weeks
- Write-up – 4 weeks
The project does not require extensive financial resources as in the case with medical intervention methods. Financial resources will be needed to rent a room for the educational intervention and interviews, as well as to pay nurses and the participants. Minor expenses will also be required to print materials and provide pens and paper to participants. Overall, the budget will be between $2000 and $2500. However, this figure will depend on the reimbursement provided to nurses, the number of participants invited, and the number of nurses required to carry out the intervention. Therefore, the end figure might be slightly higher or lower than the estimate provided above.
All in all, the project has a coherent structure that will help to carry it out successfully. Following the timeline and not exceeding the estimated budget will be among the key challenges that researchers might encounter during the intervention. However, it would still be possible to ensure that all the participants obtain valuable knowledge and experience as part of the intervention, which, in turn, would affect their future sexual behaviors. Following the intervention plan carefully will allow both researchers and nurses to ensure that the intervention is effective and that valuable research results are obtained, thus helping to analyze the effectiveness of educational interventions in addressing high teenage pregnancy rates.
Gelling, L. (2015). Qualitative research. Nursing Standard, 29(30), 43-47.
Lavin, C., & Cox, J. E. (2012). Teen pregnancy prevention: Current perspectives. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 24(4), 462-469.
Secura, G. M., Madden, T., McNicholas, C., Mullersman, J., Buckel, C. M., Zhao, Q., & Peipert, J. F. (2014). Provision of no-cost, long-acting contraception, and teenage pregnancy. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014(371), 1316-1323.