Social Network Research contribution to evaluating process in a feasibility study of a peer-led and school-based sexual health intervention

Broccatelli, C. , Wang, P., McDaid, L. , McCann, M. , Simpson, S. A. , Elliott, L., Moore, L. and Mitchell, K. (2021) Social Network Research contribution to evaluating process in a feasibility study of a peer-led and school-based sexual health intervention. Scientific Reports, 11, 12244. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-90852-w) (PMID:34112848) (PMCID:PMC8192897)

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Abstract

There is growing interest in social network-based programmes to improve health, but rigorous methods using Social Network research to evaluate the process of these interventions is less well developed. Using data from the “STis And Sexual Health” (STASH) feasibility trial of a school-based, peer-led intervention on sexual health prevention, we illustrate how network data analysis results can address key components of process evaluations for complex interventions—implementation, mechanisms of impacts, and context. STASH trained students as Peer Supporters (PS) to diffuse sexual health messages though face-to-face interactions and online Facebook (FB) groups. We applied a Multilevel Exponential Random Graph modelling approach to analyse the interdependence between offline friendship relationships and online FB ties and how these different relationships align. Our results suggest that the creation of online FB communities mirrored offline adolescent groups, demonstrating fidelity of intervention delivery. Data on informal friendship networks related to student’s individual characteristics (i.e., demographics, sexual health knowledge and adherence to norms, which were included for STASH), contributed to an understanding of the social relational ‘building’ mechanisms that sustain tie-formation. This knowledge could assist the selection of opinion leaders, improving identification of influential peers situated in optimal network positions. This work provides a novel contribution to understanding how to integrate network research with the process evaluation of a network intervention.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McCann, Dr Mark and Broccatelli, Dr Chiara and Moore, Professor Laurence and McDaid, Professor Lisa and Mitchell, Professor Kirstin and Simpson, Professor Sharon
Authors: Broccatelli, C., Wang, P., McDaid, L., McCann, M., Simpson, S. A., Elliott, L., Moore, L., and Mitchell, K.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN:2045-2322
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 11: 12244
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
Complexity in healthMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/1HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
SPHSU16
Relationships and healthMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_00022/3HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
SPHSU18
168560MRC SPHSU/GU Transfer FellowshipsLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_PC_13027HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit
172849AN EXPLORATORY STUDY TO TEST STASH, A PEER-LED INTERVENTION TO PREVENT AND REDUCE STI TRANSMISSION AND IMPROVE SEXUAL HEALTH IN SECONDARY SCHOOLSLaurence MooreScottish Government (SCOTGOV)14/182/14HW - MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit