Jan 16, 2013

The Untitled Prevention Intervention for Hispanic Couples
is a community-based intervention program designed to bring people together to
learn about improving parenting and/or sexual behaviors. The intervention
utilizes interactive sessions with trained facilitators to inform and engage
couples on topics pertaining to sexual activity, relationship quality, and/or
parenting. Although all participants involved in the evaluation experienced
increases in effective and consistent contraceptive use, no significant
differences were found between the intervention and control groups.

Target population: Hispanic women in a
heterosexual relationship, age 18-25

This intervention consists of three group sessions that
each run for approximately two and a half hours. Sessions are held consecutively
over a three to nine week period. Extensive field research, interviews and a
pilot intervention were implemented to ensure that the intervention would be
culturally sensitive and appropriate for each community.

The sessions incorporated a curriculum that covered a
variety of topics related to sexual health and well-being, as well as parenting.
Topics included general sexual activity, relationship quality and communication,
condom and other contraceptive use, monogamy, safe sex practices, pregnancy,
HIV/STDs and reproductive intentions. Sessions consisted of skills-based
activities, open discussion, group and individual couple activities, as well as
behavior modeling, role-playing and games. Teams of trained facilitators were
responsible for conducting the sessions.


Harvey, S.M., Henderson, J.T., Thorburn, S., Beckman,
L.J., Mendez, L., & Cervantes, R. (2004). A Randomized study of a pregnancy and
disease prevention intervention for Hispanic couples. Perspectives on Sexual
and Reproductive Health, 36
(4), 162-169.

Evaluated population: Hispanic women ages
18-25 were recruited in Los Angeles to participate. Women had to be involved
with a male partner age 18 years or older, of any race/ethnicity. Eligibility
was also contingent upon at least one reported risk behavior related to sexual
activity or drug use. 202 couples started the study.

Approach: After completing a baseline interview,
141 participants were organized into groups of six to twelve couples. These
groups were then randomly assigned to either a treatment (n=69) or comparison
(n=72) condition. The control group received a single informational session
which lasted approximately two hours and coincided with the first session of the
intervention group. The comparison group received $15 for attending the
informational session.

Follow-up interviews were conducted with both male and
female participants three months after program completion and again at six
months with female participants only. Again, participants were offered
compensation for completion of an interview. Seventy-three percent (n=107) of
participants completed a three-month follow-up and were included in analyses.

All interviews were conducted using a computer-assisted
survey. This technique allowed participants to submit answers directly into the
computer if necessary. Measures included rates of unprotected sexual activity,
consistency of condom use, consistency of effective contraceptive use, in
addition to other demographic characteristics and risk factors. No use and
inconsistent use of contraceptives were combined with ineffective contraceptive

Results: At the three-month follow-up,
intervention couples were no more likely than control couples to report condom
use. For both groups, the number of unprotected sex acts decreased, while the
consistency of condom use and proportion of protected sex acts increased. Among
female participants, those who received the intervention were no more likely
than those who did not to use effective contraception consistently at three and
six months post program. Instead, consistent use of contraception increased for
both groups from baseline up until six months. Overall, the evaluation found no
significant differences between groups.

There are several limitations to the study which may also
be responsible for the lack of intervention effects. First, outside exposure to
health awareness campaigns or media may have influenced participant behavior and
was not accounted for in analyses. Second, the basic awareness provided to both
groups by the baseline interviews may have been sufficient to temporarily alter
behavior. Third, the sample included in the study was drawn from a fairly
homogeneous population. Finally, both members of a couple had to agree to
participate in the study regardless of condition assignment. Participants may be
significantly different from those couples who opted not to participate.

KEYWORDS: Young Adults (18-24), Youth, Female,
Adolescent Mothers, Hispanic/Latino, Urban, Clinic-based, Condom Use and
Contraception, Sexual Activity, STD/HIV/AIDS

Program information last updated 9/8/2009.