Program

Sep 17, 2009

OVERVIEW

The Communication Skills Condom Use Program is a
self-efficacy intervention designed to increase students’ confidence in
discussing safer sex issues with their partner. In this study, students were
randomly assigned to a technical skills group, communication skills group, or a
control group. The communication skills group showed significant impacts on
positive attitudes towards condoms, condom use self-efficacy, intention to use
condoms, and perceived vulnerability to HIV when compared with the control
group. However, there was no impact on frequency of condom use at the
three-month follow-up.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: College students

The Communication Skills Condom Use Program focuses on
increasing participants’ belief (or self efficacy) in their communication and
negotiation skills regarding safer sex. Students discuss effective ways to
communicate safer sex issues such as HIV testing, prior sexual experience, and
personal beliefs about sexual behavior. Participants engage in role play to
increase confidence in suggesting alternatives to sexual intercourse and
persuasion of their partner to use a condom. Five to nine students meet in
groups led by trained peer co-facilitators. Groups meet for two, 1.5 hour
sessions over two weeks.

A pair of facilitators recruited from a student
organization in the campus health center leads each group. Through their work
at the health center, facilitators are familiar with reproductive health
issues. The facilitators receive four hours of training with an emphasis on
strict adherence to the communication skills intervention protocol
Facilitators ranged in age from 19 to 22 years old.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM

Sanderson, C. A., & Jemmott, J. B. (1996). Moderation
and mediation of HIV-prevention interventions: Relationship status, intentions,
and condom use among college students. Journal of Applied Social Psychology,
26(23), 2076-2099.

Evaluated population: One-hundred and thirty six
college students who responded to an advertisement for volunteers for safer sex
education. Ninety-seven percent of the participants were heterosexual and 71%
had engaged in sexual intercourse at least once. The mean age at first
intercourse was approximately 17 years.

Approach: Subjects were randomly assigned to one of
three groups: a technical skills group (TS), communication skills group (CS),
and a wait-list control group. The TS group emphasized comfort, familiarity,
and hedonistic beliefs about condom use. For more information about the
technical skills self-efficacy program, click

here.

At pre-test, post-test, and three-month follow-up, students
were assessed on condom use self-efficacy, attitudes towards condoms, perceived
vulnerability to HIV, intention to use condoms, and condom use.

Results: At post-test, students in both treatment
conditions reported significantly more positive attitudes towards condoms (a
large effect size of 0.86), greater condom use self-efficacy (effect size =0.8),
greater intention to use condoms (a medium effect size of 0.45), and greater
perceived vulnerability to HIV (effect size = 0.47) when compared with the
control group.

At three months, only attitudes toward condoms (effect size
= 0.58) and condom use self-efficacy (effect size = 0.52) remained significant.
There was a marginally significant impact on intentions to use condoms (p =
0.06). Additionally, frequency of condom use had no significant impact when
comparing treatment and control groups.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References:

Sanderson, C. A., & Jemmott, J. B. (1996). Moderation and
mediation of HIV-prevention interventions: Relationship status, intentions, and
condom use among college students. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26(23),
2076-2099.

KEYWORDS: Young Adulthood (18-24), College Students, Teen
Pregnancy, Reproductive Health, Condom Use, Risky Sex,
STD/HIV/AIDS, Education, Skills
Training, School-based, Clinic-based, Provider-based.

Program information last updated on 9/17/09.