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Can Teenage Men Be Targeted to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy? A Feasibility Cluster Randomised Controlled Intervention Trial in Schools

Lohan, Maria, Aventin, Áine, Clarke, Mike, Curran, Rhonda M., McDowell, Clíona, Agus, Ashley, McDaid, Lisa, Bonell, Chris and Young, Honor ORCID: 2018. Can Teenage Men Be Targeted to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy? A Feasibility Cluster Randomised Controlled Intervention Trial in Schools. Prevention Science 19 (8) , pp. 1079-1090. 10.1007/s11121-018-0928-z

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The World Health Organisation advocates a direct focus on adolescent men in reducing adolescent pregnancy; however, no trials have been conducted. This trial (ISRCTN11632300; NCT02092480) determines whether a novel Relationship and Sexuality Educational intervention, If I Were Jack, is acceptable and feasible to implement in mixed sex UK classrooms. The intervention is a teacher-delivered intervention that emphasises male alongside female responsibility in preventing unintended pregnancies and is designed to prevent unprotected sex. The trial was a parallel-group cluster randomised controlled feasibility trial with embedded process and cost evaluation in eight secondary schools (unit of randomisation) among 831 pupils (mean age 14) in Northern Ireland, alongside a qualitative evaluation of transferability in ten schools in Scotland, Wales and England. The sampling strategy was a maximum variation quota sample designed to capture a range of school management types. Four schools were randomised to each arm and the control arm continued with usual practice. Study duration was 12 months (from November 2014), with follow-up 9 months post-baseline. Results demonstrated that the intervention was acceptable to schools, pupils and teachers, and could be feasibly implemented, cost-effectively, with minor enhancements. The between-group difference in incidence of unprotected sex (primary outcome at pupil level) of 1.3% (95% CI 0.5–2.2) by 9 months demonstrated a potential effect size consistent with those reported to have had meaningful impact on teenage pregnancy. The study responds to global health policy for a paradigm shift towards inclusion of men in the achievement of sexual and reproductive health goals in a practical way by demonstrating that a gender-sensitive as well as a gender transformative intervention targeting males to prevent teenage pregnancy is acceptable to adolescent men and women and implementable in formal education structures. If I Were Jack now merits further effectiveness testing.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1389-4986
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 August 2018
Date of Acceptance: 1 July 2018
Last Modified: 04 May 2023 23:54

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