Centre Fellow Wins £1.7m Grant for Trial of Educational Intervention to Reduce Teenage Pregnancy

Professor Maria Lohan has attracted a major new grant to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention that seeks to reduce teenage pregnancy and promote sexual health.

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The research grant of 1.7 million has been awarded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and will be led by Professor Lohan who is a Fellow of the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation and also Professor within the School of Nursing and Midwifery. The partner Universities are: University of Glasgow, (Dr Lisa McDaid); the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Professor Christopher Bonnell and Dr Rebecca French); University College London (Ms Rachael Hunter and Dr Julia Bailey); Cardiff University (Dr Adam Fletcher, Dr Honor Young and Dr James White); and the Northern Ireland Critical Trials Unit (Mrs Cliona McDowell). This is an inter-disciplinary study within Queen’s University Belfast, involving the School of Nursing and Midwifery (Dr Áine Aventin who is also the Project Manager), the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biological Sciences (Professor Michael Clarke and Dr Lisa Maguire) and the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work (Dr Liam O’Hare).

The educational intervention - If I Were Jack - has been developed at Queen's and supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The innovative element of this intervention is that it specifically targets young men in schools to think about their roles and responsibilities in relation to preventing unintended pregnancies alongside girls. The trial also follows on from a previous NIHR funded study to demonstrate that the intervention could be feasibly delivered in schools and was welcomed by both teachers and pupils. The study is also developed in partnership with key stakeholders throughout the UK, including Education Scotland, Public Health Wales, HSE Public Health Agency Northern Ireland and the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment, Northern Ireland.

This trial will seek to establish whether pupils’ behaviours, as well as their knowledge and attitudes regarding unprotected sex, have changed as a consequence of using this resource. Alongside this research, the financial costs and benefits of using the programme will be examined and interviews with pupils and teachers will be conducted to gather their opinions on how the programme worked UK wide.

For further information please contact Professor Maria Lohan or Dr Áine Aventin.


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