Brief intervention to prevent sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies: Protocol of a mixed methods feasibility study

Rob Stephenson, Nicholas Metheny, Tamar Goldenberg, Nataliia Bakunina, Sofia De Vasconcelos, Karel Blondeel, James Kiarie, Igor Toskin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Sexual well-being is fundamental to physical and emotional health, and the ability to achieve it depends on access to comprehensive sexuality information and high-quality sexual health care from evidence-informed, nonjudgmental providers. Adequate and timely delivery of these components to individuals who are at high risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV, and unintended pregnancies promotes sexual health and mitigates consequences arising from risky sexual behavior. Brief interventions that allow health care providers to improve the information available to clients and motivate and help them to develop risk-reduction skills are seen as efficient ways to improve knowledge, change client behavior, and reduce provider stigma regarding sexual health. Objective: The aim of the study is to evaluate five aspects of feasibility (acceptability, willingness, safety, satisfaction, and process) of a brief sexuality-related communication (BSC) intervention based on motivational interviewing and behavior change techniques in primary health care settings in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Methods: This protocol outlines a multisite, multiphase study of feasibility of a BSC intervention in primary health care settings in LMICs that will be examined across four phases of the study. Phases I through III involve the collection of formative, qualitative data to examine provider and client perceptions of the feasibility of the intervention, adaptation of the intervention guide, and training providers on how to implement the final version of the BSC intervention. During phase IV, the feasibility of the intervention will be tested in a nonrandomized pre-post test trial where providers and clients will be followed for 6 months and participate in multiphase data collection. Results: Phase I is currently underway in Moldova, and phases I and II were completed in Peru in late 2019. Results are expected for the feasibility study in 2021. Conclusions: This feasibility study will determine whether the implementation of brief intervention programs aimed at improving sexual health outcomes is possible in the constraints of LMIC health systems and will add to our understanding of factors shaping clinical practice among primary care providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15569
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Brief interventions
  • Brief sexuality-related communication
  • Risky sexual behavior
  • Sexual health
  • STIs
  • Unintended pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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