Health and Sexual Education for Adolescents with Spina Bifida – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Health and Sexual Education for Adolescents with Spina Bifida

Mieke Hart


Pronouns: she/her

Research Mentor(s): Courtney Shepard, Assistant Professor of Urology
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Department of Urology, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 1 (10am-10:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 7
Presenter: 5

Event Link


The dearth and unsatisfactory delivery of disability-specific sexual health knowledge and credences discounting the disabled population’s sexuality have precipitated a concerning health disparity between able-bodied and disabled patients. The increased life expectancy and relatively higher rates of child-bearing among females with Spina Bifida (SB) necessitates a sexual health intervention to mitigate instances of STI transmission and unintended pregnancy. Collated data from surveys of females aged 10-19 with SB and their parents suggested an accessible, online platform is optimal for transmission of sexual education respective of SB’s distinctive physical and cognitive features. The project is currently in the phase of intervention prototype formulation, after which a clinical trial will be conducted to assess effectiveness. Further trajectory includes monitoring long-term effects and circulation of the resource on media platforms. Conclusive results have not yet been drawn; however, we hypothesize this intervention will enhance sexual health efficacy and frequency of medically recommended practices within the population of females with SB. In turn, this will decrease risk of STIs and unintended pregnancy, diminishing the aforementioned disparity, and fostering a greater number of ideal health outcomes.

Authors: Mieke Hart
Research Method: Clinical Research

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