Impact of a theoretically based sex education programme (SHARE) delivered by teachers on NHS registered conceptions and terminations: final results of cluster randomised trial

M. Henderson, D. Wight, G. M. Raab, C. Abraham, A. Parkes, S. Scott, G. Hart

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Objective: To assess the impact of a theoretically based sex education programme (SHARE) delivered by teachers compared with conventional education in terms of conceptions and terminations registered by the NHS. Design: Follow-up of cluster randomised trial 4.5 years after intervention. Setting: NHS records of women who had attended 25 secondary schools in east Scotland. Participants: 4196 women (99-5% of those eligible) Intervention: SHARE programme (intervention group) v existing sex education (controlgroup). Main outcome measure: NHS recorded conceptions and terminations for the achieved sample linked at age 20. Results: In an "intention to treat" analysis there were no significant differences between the groups in registered conceptions per 1000 pupils (300 SHARE v 274 control; difference 26,95% confidence interval -33 to 86) and terminations per 1000 pupils (127 v 112; difference 15, -13 to 42) between ages 16 and 20. Conclusions: This specially designed sex education programme did not reduce conceptions or terminations by age 20 compared with conventional provision. The lack of effect was not due to quality of delivery. Enhancing teacher led school sex education beyond conventional provision in eastern Scotland is unlikely to reduce terminations in teenagers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-136
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Medical Journal
Issue number7585
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2007


  • sex education
  • unwanted pregnancies
  • sexual behavior

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