Mid-life Women: Preventing Unintended Pregnancy and STIs

Period of Performance: 09/01/2007 - 08/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Oregon Center for Applied Science, Inc.
EUGENE, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Mid-life women, aged 35-50, are currently an underserved population in the areas of unintended pregnancy and STI prevention interventions. The common perception is that women in this age range are no longer sexually active, or are past the menopause transition, but in reality, sexual activity remains stable through mid-life and into the post-menopausal years. Additionally, physiological (e.g., perimenopause) and relationship status changes (e.g. divorce or death of a partner) put these women at increased risk for both unintended pregnancy and STI's. The proposed Phase II project will develop and evaluate a theoretically-based multimedia intervention designed to assist mid-life women in protecting themselves from sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy. The Phase I project successfully created a CD-ROM intervention for a subpopulation of African American women, providing information on pregnancy and STI prevention, partner communication and perimenopause. Phase II development will greatly expand the Phase I video and other content to be fully multicultural (i.e., targeted for African American, Asian American, Caucasian and Hispanic women). Extensive formative processes will inform and shape the intervention design to increase knowledge about: 1) pregnancy risk in mid-life; 2) STI risk in mid-life; 3) strategies to prevent STIs and unintended pregnancy in mid-life and 4) influences of sexual partners on risk reduction decisions and behaviors; and 5) partner communication techniques. The final product will be created in Internet/Intranet, CD-ROM, and DVD formats. The program will be evaluated in a randomized control trial, conducted entirely on the Internet. The outcome measures will include: knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, normative expectations, self-efficacy and behavioral intentions regarding prevention of STI's and unintended pregnancy.