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Evidence-Based Programs

All Evidence-Based Programs

Seventeen Days (formerly What Could You Do?)

Overview of the Curriculum

17 Days is a theory-based interactive DVD designed to educate young women about contraception and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The DVD presents different scenarios involving decisions that young women face in relationships, identifies choice points, suggests risk-reduction strategies, and allows viewers to practice what they would do in a similar situation. The video is interactive, allowing viewers to select or skip sections. Viewers are given the opportunity to mentally practice how they would respond in hypothetical situations, through the frequent use of “cognitive rehearsal.”

Curriculum Sessions

The 17 Days interactive video consists of four vignettes, a condom demonstration, and three mini-documentaries. The vignettes focus on reproductive health and STD knowledge and are divided into four related story lines, each with a unique set of issues and possible outcomes. The mini documentaries are each 5-7 minutes and focus on anatomy, sexually transmitted infections and diseases, and contraception. Each mini documentary presents real life stories and footage relevant to the topic; expert commentary from providers, clinicians, scientists, teachers, etc; and graphic animations of anatomy and other medical subjects.

17 Days is interactive, allowing viewers to select or skip sections. Average viewing time for the full video is 45 minutes, however, this can vary based on the viewers’ selection choices at key decision points during the video.

Unique Features of the Curriculum

17 Days is suitable for use in physician and clinic offices. It may be suitable for use in schools but only if girls can complete the video individually and in private

Ordering and Training Information

Ordering: An interactive DVD is available through There is also a DVD userguide, cover, and brochure available at Email:

Training: No staffing or training is required for the interactive video. Only a television and DVD player, or personal-sized DVD player are needed. (Note: Although the DVD can be viewed on a computer, it functions more smoothly when viewed with a DVD player.)

Evaluation Fact Sheet


This is a video-based program aimed at increasing knowledge of STDs, decrease sexual risk behaviors, and decrease STD acquisition in adolescent females.

Behavioral Findings

At all follow-up points, the participants in all three conditions increased their STD knowledge, both general and specific.

Participants in the video condition were more likely than their control condition counterparts to have been completely abstinent in the time from baseline to the three-month follow-up (OR = 2.5, p = 0.027). This pattern diminished between the three-month and six-month visits (OR = 1.45, p = 0.344). Although there were no significant differences in condom use among the conditions, there was a trend toward more condom use and fewer condom failures among the participants of the video condition.

At the six-month follow-up, participants in the control conditions were nearly twice as likely as video condition participants to have been diagnosed with an STD (OR = 2.79, p = .05). This pattern held for all nine reported diseases.

Research Design

Participants were recruited from four healthcare sites in the urban Pittsburgh area: a children's hospital's adolescent medicine clinic, two community health centers, and a women's teaching hospital. The young women participating in the study were all between 14 and 18 years old, and had engaged in heterosexual vaginal sex in the six months prior to the study. Most participants (75%) self identified as African American, with 15% white and 10% “Other” or mixed race. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants or from their parents/guardians for participants under 18.

Following the completion of baseline measures and a self-administered vaginal swab, participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: 1) interactive video (experimental condition), 2) content-matched control condition (a 127-page book containing all of the content of the interactive video), or 3) topic-matched control condition (23 commercially available brochures, with content closely matching that of the video and book). Booster sessions followed at one, three and six months after the initial intervention.


Downs, J. S., Murray, P. J., Bruine de Bruin, W., Penrose, J., Palmgren, C., & Fischhoff, B. (2004). Interactive video behavioral intervention to reduce adolescent females' STD risk: A randomized controlled trial. Social Science & Medicine, 59(8), 1561-1572.