Strengths and challenges of a school-based sexual and reproductive health program for adolescents in Chile

Alexandra, Obach; Michelle Sadler; CABIESES VALDES, BALTICA; Bussenius, Pascale; Munoz, Patricia; Perez, Claudia; Urrutia, Carla


Background Adolescent sexual and reproductive health services in Chile have been primarily provided through health centers. Although some school-based initiatives have been implemented, to date, these have not been assessed. This study aims to identify strengths and challenges of the affectivity and sexuality component of the school-based 3A Program, a health program which seeks to prevent risk behaviors and promote healthy lifestyle habits within public schools (addressing health topics which in Spanish begin with the letter ‘A’, hence ‘3A’), implemented in the municipality of Lo Prado, city of Santiago. Methods: We carried out a qualitative study with a descriptive-interpretative approach in three schools. We conducted in-depth interviews with students, teachers, health professionals, and school principals (N = 44); and focus groups with students (N = 3), teachers and health personnel (N = 3). The interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: Participants highlight the integrative approach to health and to sexual and reproductive health promoted in the 3A Program, which is enhanced by the collaboration of interdisciplinary health teams. Permanent and expedited student access to sexual and reproductive health care is achieved, and affectional bonds are developed between students and the Program’s health staff. The Program assists female participants to imagine and form identities that are not inherently tied to motherhood. It also assists boys and LGBTQ+ adolescents in feeling included as relevant actors in sexual and reproductive health and decision making. The delivery of contraception in schools is highly valued. The most significant challenge identified is ensuring effective and ongoing collaboration between health staff and teachers. Conclusion: Participants value the effectivity and sexuality component of the 3A Program as an initiative to improve adolescents’ access to sexual and reproductive health care. Our findings suggest that this Program could be replicated throughout the region and the country to improve the quality and accessibility of health services for adolescents.

Más información

Título de la Revista: PLOS ONE
Volumen: 17 (3)
Fecha de publicación: 2022
Página de inicio: 1
Página final: 18
Idioma: english
Notas: Wos, Scopus, PubMed, MEDLINE, PubMed Central, Google Scholar, the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS), EMBASE, AGRICOLA, PsycINFO, Zoological Records, FSTA (Food Science and Technology Abstracts), GeoRef, and RefAware