Sexual Health and Relationship Abuse Interventions in Pediatric Primary Care: A Systematic Review

Susheel Kant Khetarpal, Sarah Tiffany-Appleton, Erin E. Mickievicz, Romina L. Barral, Kimberly A. Randell, Jeff R. Temple, Elizabeth Miller, Maya I. Ragavan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Supporting adolescents in developing healthy relationships and promoting sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is an important responsibility of pediatric primary care providers. Less is known about evidence-based interventions in pediatric settings focused on healthy relationships and SRH. Methods: We conducted a systematic review to describe SRH and healthy relationship/adolescent relationship abuse (ARA) interventions for pediatric primary care over the past 20 years. Eligible articles were original research on an SRH-focused or ARA-focused intervention, conducted in-person within pediatric primary care or school-based health centers specifically for middle or high school–aged adolescents. Data abstracted from included articles included intervention description, content, delivery, evaluation design, and effectiveness of primary outcomes. Heterogeneous outcomes and evidence levels made conducting a meta-analysis infeasible. Results: Nineteen studies described 17 interventions targeting a variety of SRH and ARA topics (e.g., sexually transmitted infections, contraception, ARA). Interventions largely focused on screening/counseling adolescents (89%). Interventions generally were reported as being effective in changing adolescent health or practice-level outcomes. Discussion: This review provides preliminary evidence that SRH and ARA interventions in pediatric primary care settings can be effective in promoting adolescent health. Future work should consider ARA-specific prevention interventions, including parents in interventions, and strategies for implementation, dissemination, and scaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-501
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent relationship abuse
  • Contraception counseling
  • Interventions
  • Pregnancy prevention
  • Primary care
  • Reproductive health
  • STI testing
  • Sexual health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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