Formative mixed-method multicase study research to inform the development of a safer sex and healthy relationships intervention in further education (FE) settings: the SaFE Project

Young, H., Turney, C., White, J., Lewis, R. and Bonell, C. (2019) Formative mixed-method multicase study research to inform the development of a safer sex and healthy relationships intervention in further education (FE) settings: the SaFE Project. BMJ Open, 9(7), e024692. (doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-024692) (PMID:31289053) (PMCID:PMC6629453)

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Abstract

Objectives: Sexual health includes pleasurable, safe, sexual experiences free from coercion, discrimination and violence. In the UK, many young people’s experiences fall short of this definition. This study aimed to inform the development of a safer sex and healthy relationships intervention for those aged 16–19 years studying in further education (FE) settings. Design: A formative mixed-method multicase study explored if and how to implement four components within a single intervention. Setting: Six FE settings in England and Wales and one sexual health charity participated between October and July 2015. Participants: Focus groups with 134 FE students and 44 FE staff, and interviews with 11 FE managers and 12 sexual health charity staff, first explored whether four candidate intervention components were acceptable and could have sustained implementation. An e-survey with 2105 students and 163 staff then examined potential uptake and acceptability of components shortlisted in the first stage. Stakeholder consultation was then used to refine the intervention. Intervention: Informed by a review of evidence of effective interventions delivered in other settings, four candidate intervention components were identified which could promote safer sex and healthy relationships among those aged 16–19 years: 1) student-led sexual health action groups; 2) on-site sexual health and relationships services; 3) staff safeguarding training about sexual health and relationships and 4) sex and relationships education. Results: On-site sexual health and relationships services and staff safeguarding training about sexual health and relationships were key gaps in current FE provision and welcomed by staff, students and health professionals. Sex and relationships education and student-led sexual health action groups were not considered acceptable. Conclusions: The SaFE intervention, comprising on-site sexual health and relationships services and staff safeguarding training in FE settings, may have potential promoting sexual health among FE students. Further optimisation and refinement with key stakeholders is required before piloting via cluster randomised controlled trial.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by The Medical Research Council Public Health Intervention Development Scheme (MRC PHIND) Grant number [MR/M026272/1]. Since October 2017. The SaFE Project is a partnership between DECIPHer at Cardiff University, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, The Institute of Education and a sexual health charity, funded by the Medical Research Council Public Health Intervention Development Scheme (PHIND). The work was undertaken with the support of The Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence. Joint funding (MR/KO232331/1) from the British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, the Welsh Government and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical 19 Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged. Ruth Lewis has been supported by the UK Medical Research Council [grant MC_UU_12017/11], and Chief Scientist Office [grant SPHSU11].
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Lewis, Dr Ruth
Authors: Young, H., Turney, C., White, J., Lewis, R., and Bonell, C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:2044-6055
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Published Online:09 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 9(7): e024692
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
SPHSU11