Publications by authors named "Heather M Franks"

9 Publications

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You-Me-Us: Results of a Cluster Randomized Trial of a Healthy Relationships Approach to Sexual Risk Reduction.

J Prim Prev 2019 12;40(6):607-629

ETR, 100 Enterprise Way, Suite G300, Scotts Valley, CA, 95066, USA.

By middle adolescence, most young people have been involved in at least one romantic relationship, a context in which many sexual interactions occur. Indeed, researchers have suggested the importance of attending to relationships in programs focused on sexual risk, yet few evidence-based programs have a strong relationships focus. Our study examined the impact of a healthy relationship program called You-Me-Us that included a classroom curriculum and a school-wide peer norms approach. We evaluated the intervention using a small group randomized trial that included nine participating urban middle schools (defined as schools that include grades 6-8) in three urban school districts. We invited all 7th grade students within the study schools to enroll. Students completed three surveys during 7th and 8th grades (baseline plus two follow up surveys at 6 and 18 months following baseline). A total of 911 youth with positive consent and assent were enrolled in the study. Follow up survey response rates among those taking the baseline were 92% at 6 months and 80% at 18 months. Multilevel regression models were used to adjust for the correlation among students within the same school, and the correlation of repeated measurements taken on the same student over time. The intervention reduced vaginal sexual initiation by about half at the 6-month follow-up, and this approached significance. Further, youth in the intervention condition were less likely to believe it is okay for people their age to have vaginal sex without using condoms if the girl is on birth control. None of the remaining variables differed significantly by intervention condition. This study provides insights on using a healthy relationship approach for younger urban adolescents. This approach produced a programmatically significant reduction in sexual initiation that did not reach standard levels of statistical significance, and warrants further exploration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10935-019-00569-wDOI Listing
December 2019

Replication of It's Your Game…Keep It Real! in Southeast Texas.

J Prim Prev 2019 06;40(3):297-323

Center for Health Promotion and Prevention Research, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.

Despite the recent efforts of the Office of Adolescent Health to replicate programs with demonstrated efficacy, there are still few evidence-based HIV, sexually transmitted infection (STI), and teen pregnancy prevention programs that have been replicated in "real-world" settings. To test the effectiveness of It's Your Game…Keep It Real! (IYG), an evidence-based STI and pregnancy prevention program for middle schools, the curriculum was implemented by teachers in urban and suburban middle schools in Southeast Texas from 2012 to 2015. IYG was evaluated using a group-randomized wait-list controlled effectiveness trial design in which 20 middle schools in nine urban and suburban school districts in Southeast Texas were randomized equally, using a multi-attribute randomization protocol, to either the intervention condition (received IYG) (n = 10 schools comprising 1936 eligible seventh graders) or the comparison condition (received usual care) (n = 10 schools comprising 1825 eligible seventh graders). All students were blinded to condition prior to administering the baseline survey. The analytic sample comprised 1543 students (n = 804, intervention; n = 739, comparison) who were followed from baseline (seventh grade) to the 24-month follow-up (ninth grade). Multilevel regression analyses were conducted to assess behavioral and psychosocial outcomes at follow-up. There were no significant differences in initiation of vaginal or oral sex between study conditions at follow-up. However, at 12-month follow-up, compared with students in the comparison condition, students in the intervention condition reported increased knowledge, self-efficacy, and perceived favorable norms related to HIV/STIs, condoms, and/or abstinence; decreased intentions to have sex; and increased intentions to use birth control. Knowledge outcomes were statistically significant at 24-month follow-up. This IYG effectiveness trial did not replicate the behavioral effects of the original IYG efficacy trials. However, it adds to the growing literature on the replication of evidence-based programs, and underscores the need to better understand how variations in implementation, setting, and measurement affect the behavioral impact of such programs.Clinical trial registration clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03533192).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10935-019-00549-0DOI Listing
June 2019

Dual Contraceptive Method Use Among Youth in Alternative Schools.

J Prim Prev 2016 Dec;37(6):561-567

ETR, 100 Enterprise Way, Suite G300, Scotts Valley, CA, 95066, USA.

Dual contraceptive method use, or using a highly effective contraceptive method plus a barrier method like condoms, is gaining attention as a strategy for preventing unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. We investigated rates of dual method use among a sample of youth in urban alternative schools, and explored the relationship between dual method use and sexual partner type. The study analyzed data from 765 students enrolled in 11 district-run continuation high schools in northern California. We explored the association between dual method use and sexual partner type (steady only, a mix of steady and non-steady, and non-steady only) using logistic regression. Differences in dual rates by partner type were statistically significant, with higher rates of dual methods use reported among young people reporting non-steady sexual partners only, as compared to those with steady partners only. The data illustrate that young people in alternative school settings could gain from further intervention on the benefits, skills, and challenges of using two methods of contraception as opposed to one with both steady and non-steady sexual partners.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10935-016-0453-4DOI Listing
December 2016

Physical function and quality of well-being in fibromyalgia: the applicability of the goodness-of-fit hypothesis.

Health Psychol Behav Med 2014 Jan 28;2(1):496-508. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Kaiser Permanente of Southern California , San Diego , CA , USA.

: The goodness-of-fit hypothesis suggests that the effectiveness of a coping strategy depends on the match between type of strategy (problem-focused, emotion-focused) and the level of perceived control. This hypothesis was examined as a predictor of physical functioning and quality of well-being (QWB) in a large sample of women with fibromyalgia. Participants were 478 women with diagnosed fibromyalgia ( = 54.31, SD = 11.2), who were part of a larger intervention in which no intervention effects were found. Hierarchical, mixed selection regressions were performed to determine whether the relationship between coping and control-predicted physical functioning and QWB. Participants who reported having lower levels of perceived control over their fibromyalgia syndrome and who engaged in more self-controlling coping (emotion-focused strategy) experienced greater QWB and physical functioning than those who used less self-controlling coping. Various main effects for coping and perceived control were also found. Level of physical functioning was also related to escape-avoidance, distancing, and perceived control. The level of QWB was related to social-support seeking, accepting responsibility, distancing, problem-solving, and perceived control. This study provides a greater understanding of the relationships among coping, perceived control, physical functioning, and well-being for women with fibromyalgia. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21642850.2014.905205DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4346089PMC
January 2014

"They were only joking": efforts to decrease LGBTQ bullying and harassment in seattle public schools.

J Sch Health 2014 Jan;84(1):1-9

Supervisor, Health Education, Health Education Office, Seattle Public Schools, 2445 3rd Avenue, Seattle, WA 98124.

Background: Seattle Public Schools has implemented policies and programs to increase safety, family involvement, and student achievement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. This case study examines students' perceptions of bullying and harassment in the school environment, and teacher intervention when these problems arise in the presence of strong district policies and programs aimed at reducing LGBTQ bullying and harassment in schools.

Methods: We surveyed students in Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) groups at 13 secondary schools (N = 107). We also conducted focus groups with GSA students and students not involved in the GSAs in 7 of 13 schools (N = 16 groups, including 154 students).

Results: GSA students who were lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning (LGBQ) were significantly more likely than straight students to experience several types of harassment. On the basis of student report, the 2 most common intervention strategies by teachers for verbal harassment included stopping the harassment and explaining why it is wrong; teachers intervened in physical harassment by trying to stop the harassment. Students provided input on how to strengthen teacher interventions, including the need for more consistency in responding and following up. Students also noted a need for more focus on educating those who harass, rather than just asking them to stop.

Conclusions: Seattle Public Schools has made great strides in creating safe and welcoming schools for LGBTQ students, but still have to work further toward reaching this goal. Data from students on how they experience their school environment can help identify areas for improvement.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/josh.12120DOI Listing
January 2014

Interventions to reduce sexual risk behaviors among youth in alternative schools: a randomized controlled trial.

J Adolesc Health 2013 Jul 3;53(1):68-78. Epub 2013 Apr 3.

Research Department, ETR Associates, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA.

Purpose: This paper presents results from a randomized controlled trial that assessed the short- and longer-term impact of a skills-based HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention curriculum, service learning, and the combination.

Methods: The study featured a four-arm experimental design involving 47 classrooms (765 youth) from continuation high schools. Classrooms were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (1) HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention curriculum only; (2) service learning only; (3) HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention curriculum plus service learning; or (4) an attention control curriculum. Students completed 3 surveys over 18 months. Multi-level analysis was used to adjust for the correlation among students within the same classroom and school, and the correlation of repeated measurements.

Results: Participants were 53% male (mean age: 16.2 years). The majority of youth reported being Hispanic/Latino or African-American (37.9% and 22.3%, respectively). Students in the HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention curriculum condition were less likely to have vaginal intercourse without a condom in the 3 months prior to the survey [odds ratio (OR) = .58, p = .04]; these effects diminished by final follow-up. The program also significantly reduced students' exposure to risky situations. These changes were not significant in the service learning only or combined intervention conditions relative to control.

Conclusion: This study is one of a few controlled studies of HIV/STI and pregnancy prevention programs in continuation settings, and suggests the curriculum was effective in changing selected risk behaviors in the short term.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.12.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3691297PMC
July 2013

Condom use: slippage, breakage, and steps for proper use among adolescents in alternative school settings.

J Sch Health 2012 Aug;82(8):345-52

Research Department, ETR Associates, 4 Carbonero Way, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA.

Background: School-based human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted infection (STI), and pregnancy prevention programs often focus on consistent and correct condom use. Research on adolescents' experience using condoms, including condom slippage/breakage, is limited. This exploratory study examines proper condom use and the occurrence of condom slippage/breakage among alternative school youth.

Methods: Data are from an HIV/STI prevention trial for youth in continuation school settings (N = 776). Analyses included separate hierarchical logistic regression analyses to explore the relationship between potential correlates and each outcome variable.

Results: Students' use of steps for proper condom use varied-73.8% put on the condom before sexual contact, 71.1% squeezed air from the tip, and 92.0% unrolled the condom fully. Notably, 28.5% reported condom slippage/breakage. Results from the regression analyses showed that 4 sets of variables (demographic, substance use, sexual risk behaviors, and condom psychosocial factors) were associated with putting on a condom before sexual contact; none of the variable sets were associated with the other 2 condom steps measured. For slippage/breakage, the demographic and sexual risk behaviors were significant correlates; steps for proper condom use approached statistical significance (p = .058).

Conclusions: This study extends the limited research on how adolescents use condoms, and highlights important targets for prevention interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2012.00708.xDOI Listing
August 2012

Condom use: slippage, breakage, and steps for proper use among adolescents in alternative school settings.

J Sch Health 2012 Aug;82(8):345-52

Research Department, ETR Associates, 4 Carbonero Way, Scotts Valley, CA 95066, USA.

Background: School-based human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted infection (STI), and pregnancy prevention programs often focus on consistent and correct condom use. Research on adolescents' experience using condoms, including condom slippage/breakage, is limited. This exploratory study examines proper condom use and the occurrence of condom slippage/breakage among alternative school youth.

Methods: Data are from an HIV/STI prevention trial for youth in continuation school settings (N = 776). Analyses included separate hierarchical logistic regression analyses to explore the relationship between potential correlates and each outcome variable.

Results: Students' use of steps for proper condom use varied-73.8% put on the condom before sexual contact, 71.1% squeezed air from the tip, and 92.0% unrolled the condom fully. Notably, 28.5% reported condom slippage/breakage. Results from the regression analyses showed that 4 sets of variables (demographic, substance use, sexual risk behaviors, and condom psychosocial factors) were associated with putting on a condom before sexual contact; none of the variable sets were associated with the other 2 condom steps measured. For slippage/breakage, the demographic and sexual risk behaviors were significant correlates; steps for proper condom use approached statistical significance (p = .058).

Conclusions: This study extends the limited research on how adolescents use condoms, and highlights important targets for prevention interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1746-1561.2012.00708.xDOI Listing
August 2012

Appraisals and coping in people living with cancer: a meta-analysis.

Psychooncology 2006 Dec;15(12):1027-37

San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-4611, USA.

The present meta-analysis examined the relationship between primary appraisal dimensions and coping strategies in people with cancer. Primary appraisals were operationalized as appraisals of threat, challenge, and harm/loss. Coping was operationalized according to two coping taxonomies: the first based on coping efforts to manage the stressor itself and/or the distressful feelings associated with it (problem- or emotion-focused coping, respectively) and the second based on the general orientation of the coping efforts (approach or avoidance coping). Appraisals of threat were (counter-intuitively) related to use of problem-focused coping (r=0.20); appraisals of harm and/or loss were related to avoidance coping (r=0.23); and appraisals of challenge were related to both problem-focused (r=0.15) and approach coping (r=0.14). These findings suggest that individuals with cancer who appraise their illness as a threat are likely to use more problem-focused coping strategies. Individuals who appraise their cancer as a harm/loss, however, are likely to use more avoidance coping strategies. And finally, those who appraise their cancer as a challenge are likely to use approach coping strategies. Factors found to moderate the relationship between appraisals and coping included age of the participant, time since diagnosis, and type of cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pon.1043DOI Listing
December 2006