Optimisation, feasibility testing and pilot randomised trial of Positive Choices: a school based social marketing intervention to promote sexual health, prevent unintended teenage pregnancies and address health inequalities in England

Lead investigator
Chris Bonell

Adam Fletcher, Honor Young, Rona Campbell

Aims & objectives
We aim to evaluate Positive Choices, a programme which will be delivered in secondary schools, which aims to prevent unintended teenage pregnancies. The intervention will be optimised in collaboration with the sexual health charity, Brook, a secondary school and various other collaborators.
Study design

The Positive Choices intervention will use social marketing strategies and will have several elements; providing education on emotions and relationships; offering sexual health clinics in schools; and helping young people to run campaigns in their school highlighting the importance of making informed decisions about relationships, sex and parenthood.

This research does not assess whether Positive Choices works in reducing unintended teenage pregnancies, but first explores whether the intervention and research methods are practical. This will involve two stages. The first will involve assessing the feasibility of positive choices in the school which helped to optimise it, and refining the intervention as necessary. The second stage will involve four state secondary schools delivering the programme and two others acting as comparison.

First, questionnaire surveys will be used to find out about each school’s students before the programme (when students are at the end of year 8, aged 12 or 13). Then we will randomly allocate schools that will deliver the programme and which schools which will act as comparison sites.The programme will then be delivered by teachers who have been trained by the National Children’s Bureau. While the programme is being delivered, we will interview staff and students to find out their views of Positive Choices. We will then administer a second questionnaire survey of students at the end of the programme, by which time they will be at the end of year 9 (aged 13 or 14).

Questions will ask about sexual knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. We will also use routine health service data on births and abortions to check on the rates among our participants.

Further information & publications

For further information, please click the following link.

Start date
April 2017
End date
December 2018