Promoting contraceptive services to teenagers
Following concerns regarding the rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among teenagers in Britain, calls have been made to make sexual health services more accessible to young people. This paper reports on a pilot study in which 13 to 14-year-olds were given information about family planning, general practice and school-based sexual health services during school lessons delivered by health professionals. The primary aim of the study was to determine the feasibility of a future trial; secondary aims were to gauge the effect of the intervention on attitudes and awareness measured via pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. At follow-up, teenagers in the intervention group had a higher awareness of linked services and there was a trend for increased trust in confidentiality. While this is a small-scale study, it shows promise for the effectiveness of sexual health professionals promoting their services directly to young people, and a future randomised controlled trial to fully evaluate this strategy is recommended.