Research Impact

if i were jack

Research Impact

An Educational Resource about Teenage Men and Unintended Pregnancy


The If I were Jack educational resource has been developed by a research team led by Professor Maria Lohan at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen’s University Belfast (QUB). The resource is designed to increase young people's intention to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. The development phase was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Irish Health Service Executive’s Crisis Pregnancy Programme and the Health and Social Care Public Health Agency, Northern Ireland. In May 2014 we began a feasibility randomised controlled trial in post-primary schools in Northern Ireland. This phase of the project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research and the Public Health Agency Northern Ireland. 

In January 2017, the team began Phase III of the projecy; the Jack Trial, a multi-site cluster randomised trial of an interactive film-based intervention to reduce teenage pregnancy and promote positive sexual health. This four-year trail, funded by the NIHR, will conclude in 2020.

If I Were Jack and Research Impact

If I were Jack is a good example of the type of impact that research undertaken at the School of Nursing and Midwifery can have on the community because it engages with the needs of both policy makers and end users.

In relation to policy makers, the significant benefit has been working collaboratively with the Department of Health, the Public Health Agency and the Curriculum Authority in Northern Ireland to deliver on key government policy targets of the Sexual Health Strategy for Northern Ireland as well as delivering high quality, evidenced based relationship and sexuality education.

In relation to end users, the development of If I were Jack means that teachers and pupils now have access to an exciting evidenced-based resource, using an interactive film made by Queen's University, which can bring home the message to young boys, as well as young girls, of the need to avoid an unintended pregnancy during adolescence.  

If I Were Jack Project Team at second stakeholders meeting 20.09.2012Photo:  Members of the If I Were Jack project team at the second stakeholders' meeting in September 2012. Left to Right: Peter O'Halloran (Research Team, QUB); Kathryn Gilbert (Project Partner, CCEA); Bernadette Cullen (Project Partner, PHA); Orla McGowan (Project Partner, HSE CCP); Joanna Gregg (Project Partner, BHSCT); Carmel Kelly (Research Team, QUB); Maria Lohan (Research Team, QUB);  Aine Aventin (Research Team, QUB);  Naresh Chada (Project Partner, DHSSPS)

Is the impact of If I Were Jack confined to Northern Ireland?

The impact of If I Were Jack is not confined to Northern Ireland because the project brings together key research experts, policy makers, and health and education specialists from Ireland, the UK and further afield.  

The QUB research team has worked collaboratively with a leading research team based at Flinders University in Australia and with researchers at the University of British Columbia to develop a similar resource for delivery in  South Australia and Canada.

Addressing unintended teenage pregnancy is a world health policy priority and this creative resource is one of the first to address men's roles in preventing unintended teenage pregnancy.

See the full list of supporting publications on the publications¬†page.

The impact of this work has been universal access to an interactive educational resource in national-curricula to address the previously neglected role of teenage men in unintended pregnancy. Through work with the Departments of Health and Education in Northern Ireland and Ireland, our research led to significant change in the educational practice of post-primary schools throughout the island of Ireland. The resource is achieving key educational and health promotion effects, especially in achieving greater awareness of unintended pregnancy amongst young men and in increasing young men’s intention to avoid an unintended pregnancy. As a result of this success, the resource is also being delivered in state schools in South Australia.