Author Credentials

Raj Singh, MSIII, Mohit Harsh, MSIII, Keegan Mullins, MSIII, Brian Dunlap, MD, Jennie L. Yoost, MD





Telemedicine allows rural underserved populations access to medical resources that may not be available in their communities. Following promising results with a telemedicine project aimed at educating female students in McDowell County, West Virginia on reproductive health (RH) in 2015, we conducted a follow-up study including both male and female high school students during the 2016 school year.

Materials and Methods:

Telemedicine sessions on RH were incorporated into existing afterschool programs at two rural high schools. Students’ knowledge on RH was assessed via pre-test, immediate post-test, and 6-month post-test evaluations. RH was taught by medical students and faculty at a distal university.


77 students participated and 37 students completed a 6-month follow-up survey. Statistically significant increases in knowledge scores regarding both birth control and sexually transmitted disease prevention were noted at 6-month follow-up. A larger proportion of students reported “always” utilizing birth control (35.3% vs. 64.7%) as well as condom usage (46.2% vs. 58.8%) at six months compared to before the intervention, but was not statistically significant. The intervention was rated as “effective” or “very effective” by 91.9% of participants, and 75.6% stated they were “very likely” to participate the future.


Telemedicine is a promising and sustainable tool in teaching RH to rural underserved areas.

Conflict(s) of Interest


References with DOI

1. Kearney MS, Levine PB. Why is the teen birth rate in the United States so high and why does it matter? The journal of economic perspectives: a journal of the American Economic Association. 2012 Spring;26(2):141-66. PubMed PMID: 22792555. https://doi.org/10.3386/w17965

2. Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJ. Births in the United States, 2015. NCHS data brief. 2016 Sep(258):1-8. PubMed PMID: 27648876.

3. Kann L, McManus T, Harris WA, Shanklin SL, Flint KH, Hawkins J, et al. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance - United States, 2015. Morbidity and mortality weekly report Surveillance summaries. 2016 Jun 10;65(6):1-174. PubMed PMID: 27280474.

4. Kids Count Data Center The Annie E Casey Foundation [cited 2016 October 21, 2016]. Available from:http://datacenter.kidscount.org.

5. CDC. West Virginia 2015 State Profile [March 6, 2017]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchhstp/stateprofiles/pdf/west_virginia_profile.pdf.

6. Yoost JL, Starcher RW, King-Mallory RA, Hussain N, Hensley CA, Gress TW. The Use of Telehealth to Teach Reproductive Health to Female Rural High School Students. Journal of pediatric and adolescent gynecology. 2016 Oct 11. PubMed PMID: 27742427. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpag.2016.10.002

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.