Evaluating the Effectiveness of Current Interventions on the Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy in Low and Middle-Income Countries: A Scoping Review to Evaluate Interventions and Strategies
Keywords:Adolescents, Pregnancy, Intervention, Low and middle-income countries
Background: Adolescent pregnancy is a global public health concern though with higher prevalence in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Approximately 21 million girls become pregnant every year with an estimated 12 million of those going on to give birth. Preventing adolescent pregnancy requires having knowledge of causation or determinants so that relevant and effective strategies can be implemented to reduce the prevalence of adolescent pregnancy in LMICs. The aim of this review is to evaluate the effectiveness of current interventions on the prevention of adolescent pregnancy in LMICs.
Method: The scoping review was conducted based on Arksey and O’Malley’s framework, the methodology and guidance of conducting scoping review developed by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) and using the PRISMA guidelines for reporting scoping review. The search included three electronic databases (Medline, PsycINFO and CINAHL) and grey literature from google scholar. The search was confined to studies published from 2010-2021 with participants aged 13-19 years. Studies were included if they had intervention programs on adolescent pregnancy in LMICs.
Results: The scoping review included 10 studies that were relevant to the topic of review and met the criteria after abstract and full text screening. Interventions such as access to targeted family planning, cash transfer, educational empowerment programs and text-messaging programs were identified to have a significant impact on reducing adolescent pregnancy. However, these intervention programs had their limitations which included access to health services, cost effectiveness and reluctant behaviour of individuals. There is a need for further research and longer duration programs and evaluation studies to effect changes.
Conclusions: Adolescents in LMICs are exposed to risky sexual behaviours and geographical factors that increases pregnancy outcome such as poverty, early marriage, and abuse. The result of this study provides an insight as to why further research needs to be done to improve adolescent’s sexual reproductive health.
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