TECHsex Insight: Partner Organization Interview with LPHI

Our TECHsex study involved the input of over 1,500 youth through our online survey and focus groups, as well as collaboration with our great partner organizations. One such organization is the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), who works to uncover complementary connections across sectors to combine the social, economic, and human capital needed to align action for health. With their support, we were able to conduct focus groups for the study, as well as disseminate our research findings.

We spoke with Kristie Bardell, Program Manager of the Family Health Portfolio at LPHI, about her organization’s involvement with our study, the implications of the research, and how providers can apply this information to their work with young people.

YTH: Could you explain what compelled you to want to become involved in our TECHsex work/study?

KRISTIE: We were excited to become involved in the TECHsex study because, like YTH, we are committed to building the capacity of community to advance youth health. Prior to working with YTH we had conducted interviews in two parishes within Louisiana, with adolescents and young adults, in order to better understand perceptions around reproductive health and experiences accessing reproductive health information and health services. TECHsex was instrumental in providing additional information on how youth access sexual health information in the digital world.

We plan on incorporating the findings from the TECHsex study within our program planning, in addition to ensuring that the findings are distributed to the community and additional stakeholders. We are committed to improving the health and well-being of youth with an emphasis on addressing health disparities.

YTH: What, in your opinion, is the most important finding in this study? Why?

KRISTIE: The most important finding in the study, to us, is that participants in Southern states relied more on their families for sexual health information and placed less trust on internet sources. We believe the inclusion of youth, parents, families and community is critical as we build opportunities to advance sexual and reproductive health in the South. This is a great opportunity to enhance youth-parent conversations and the conversation around the use of technology.

The most important finding in the study, to us, is that participants in Southern states relied more on their families for sexual health information and placed less trust on internet sources.

YTH: How can providers use information in the report about online dating, social media, cyberbullying, and health information online in their work?

KRISTIE: Providers can plan and incorporate the use of technology in their practices based on the findings in the report. There are existing communication platforms and organizations that have incorporated technology into their health delivery methods, which can be used as a benchmark for providers.

YTH: Why should people download the TECHsex report and read the research findings?

KRISTIE: People should download the report and read the research findings because youth are accessing health information in the digital world, more and more. The report provides insight into the digital landscape that youth are utilizing to access sexual and reproductive health information, while providing recommendations and opportunities for providers in the field of reproductive and sexual health. The report is a window into how youth are accessing the digital landscape which ultimately can influence their decision making.

Do you want to see the TECHsex findings for yourself? Download the full report here.

PS: Did you know that we’ll be presenting even more insight into the study at our YTH Live opening plenary? Join us at the conference to interact with the study’s facilitators, as well as gain insight into how we conducted this vital research.