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Tampons |

Predictors of Tampon Use in Adolescents After Media Coverage of Toxic Shock Syndrome

CHARLES E. IRWIN Jr., M.D.; and SUSAN G. MILLSTEIN, M.S.
[+] Article and Author Information

Grant support: in part by MCT 00978, Office of Maternal and Child Health, Bureau of Community Health Services, Department of Health and Human Services.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Charles E. Irwin, Jr., M.D.; Adolescent Medicine Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco; San Francisco, CA 94143.


San Francisco, California


© 1982 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1982;96(6_Part_2):966-968. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-96-6-966
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Adolescents who use tampons represent the population most susceptible to toxic shock syndrome. We surveyed 714 adolescents from two high schools and three hospital-based clinics to examine patterns of tampon use before and after media coverage on toxic shock syndrome. Predictors of behavior change in adolescent users of tampons were examined in the context of a theoretical model of preventive health behavior. Subjects were 168 adolescents, ages 13 to 19 (mean age, 15.19; mean gynecologic age, 3.4); 50% of the subjects were white; 19%, Asian; 16% black; 7%, Hispanic; and 6%, other. After extensive publicity on toxic shock syndrome, 33.9% of the subjects changed their habits of tampon use; 27.5% stopped using tampons and 6% decreased their use of tampons. Linear logistic regression analyses identified two factors that distinguished adolescents who decreased or stopped use of tampons after publicity on toxic shock syndrome from those who did not: greater likelihood of Rely tampon (Procter & Gamble) use before publicity (p = 0.014) and the belief that they were especially susceptible to toxic shock syndrome (p = 0.013).

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