Promoting teen-to-teen contraceptive communication with the SpeakOut intervention, a cluster randomized trial

Kathleen P. Tebb, Christine Dehlendorf, Felicia Rodriguez, Margaret Fix, Daniel J. Tancredi, Reiley Reed, Claire D. Brindis, Eleanor Bimla Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To improve teen contraceptive use, the SpeakOut intervention combines structured counseling, online resources, and text reminders to encourage teens to share their experiences using intrauterine contraception (IUC) or an implant with peers. Methods: To evaluate the effectiveness of remote delivery of the SpeakOut intervention in increasing teen contraceptive use, we conducted a cluster randomized trial involving female adolescents who were recruited online. Primary participants (n = 520) were randomly assigned to receive SpeakOut or an attention control; each primary participant recruited a cluster of up to 5 female peers as secondary participants (n = 581). We assessed contraceptive communication, knowledge, and use, at baseline, 3 and 9 months after participants enrolled. We examined differences between study groups, controlling for clustering by primary participant and baseline characteristics. Results: The trial's primary outcome, contraceptive use by secondary participants, was similar between groups at both 3 and 9 months postintervention. Compared to controls, primary participants receiving SpeakOut tended to be less likely to discontinue contraception within 9 months (4.8% vs 7.8%, p = 0.11 for IUC; 7.8% vs 9.8%, p = 0.45 for implants), but this did not reach statistical significance. SpeakOut failed to increase contraceptive communication; regardless of study group, most secondary participants reported peer communication about contraception (86% vs 88%, p = 0.57). Most secondary participants were aware of the hormonal IUC (91.4% vs 90.4%, p = 0.72), copper IUC (92.9% vs 88.6%, p = 0.13), and implant (96.5% vs 96.1%, p = 0.83) 3 months after enrolling, regardless of the intervention their primary participant received. However, contraceptive knowledge remained incomplete in all study groups. Conclusion: Remote delivery of the SpeakOutintervention did not improve contraceptive communication, knowledge or use among participating teens or their peers. Implications: Efforts to support teen-to-teen contraceptive communication and ensure that teens have accurate information about the full range of contraceptive methods, including highly effective reversible contraceptives, require refinement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Adolescent
  • Communication
  • Contraception
  • Implant
  • IUC
  • Peer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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