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

  • Maureen James
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.