Addressing rural adolescents' access to sexual and reproductive health services

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Sobering, Melanie Hawranik
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The purpose of this qualitative exploratory descriptive study was to arrive at an increased understanding of the factors influencing access to sexual and reproductive health services by rural Manitoban adolescents. Focus groups and individual interviews were held with 23 health care providers who provide sexual and reproductive health services to adolescents. The descriptive findings of this study revealed that a number of barriers for adolescents exist, which include: transportation difficulties, system barriers, and fear of lack of confidentiality. Recommendations included: creating health services that are adolescent-friendly: evening hours, remaining open during lunch-hour, and locating a clinic near a high school; increasing nurses scope of practice; encouraging multi-disciplinary referrals; improving relationships between public health nurses and the school division; and advocacy for adolescents’ to receive comprehensive sexual health information in school.
adolescents, sexual health, nursing, rural