Honors Theses

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Lisa Haynie

Relational Format

article

Abstract

Problem - Recent data ranks Mississippi as number five in the nation for the highest rate of teen pregnancy and number one in the nation for highest teen birth rate (The National Campaign Against Teen Pregnancy, 2007). According to the Mississippi State Department of Health's County Health Profile for Sharkey County, the rate of teen pregnancy for this area was 118.5 per 1,000 population compared to Mississippi's overall rate of 81.5 per 1,000 lives births (2007). Sharkey and Issaquena Counties' rate of teen pregnancy is significantly higher than other areas of the state and is more than twice the national target rate of 47 teen pregnancies per 1,000 persons. When examining health care services in the region, the Miss issippi State Department of Health defines Sharkey and Issaquena Counties as "health professional shortage areas" using the ratio of one primary care provider for each unit of 3,500 people (2007). A school-based health center (SBHC) could provide a solution for the alarmingly high rates of teen pregnancy in this critically undeserved area of the state of Mississippi, with strong community support. Purpose - The purpose of this study is to determine the perspectives of parents and teachers in the South Delta School District regarding the establishment of a SBHC, including whether or not children use the center, and what services should be offered. Further, this tudy seeks to determine if parents and teachers consider care of teen problems such as teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases concerns to be addressed by a SBHC. Method - An investigator-designed survey was distributed to parents and teachers in the South Delta School District of Sharkey and Issaquena counties in Mississippi. Of 1,146 surveys distributed, 320 parent surveys were returned. Of 50 faculty surveys distributed, 48 were returned. Conclusion - Most parents (79%) agreed that their children "would" or "probably would" use a SBHC and 38.4% reported that their children would access the center for "teen problems" such as information about pregnancy and STDs. Fifty percent of teachers surveyed reported that care for "teen problems" is a service that should be offered at a proposed SBHC.

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