Peer-led intervention to prevent and reduce STI transmission and improve sexual health in secondary schools (STASH): protocol for a feasibility study

Ross Forsyth, Carrie Purcell, Sarah Barry, Sharon Simpson, Rachael Hunter, Lisa McDaid, Lawrie Elliot, Julia Bailey, Kirsty Wetherall, Mark McCann, Chiara Broccatelli, Laurence Moore, Kirstin Mitchell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background:Young people in the UK are at highest risk of sexually transmitted infections and report higher levelsof unsafe sex than any other age group. Involving peer supporters in intervention delivery is acceptable to studentsand effective in reducing risk behaviours via‘diffusion of innovation’, particularly where peer supporters areinfluential in their networks. Informal peer-led interventions offer a useful alternative to peer-led didactic teaching,which has shown limited effects. Building on the successful ASSIST anti-smoking intervention, the‘STis And SexualHealth’(STASH) intervention involves identification and recruitment of the most influential students as peersupporters, training and support to these students by specialist trainers, positive sex and relationships messages,spread by peer supporters to their friendship groups in person and via social media.

Methods/design:This protocol describes a feasibility trial of the STASH intervention in six schools. It builds on anearlier study phase of intervention co-development using patient and public involvement (PPI) activities, followedby a pilot of intervention components and evaluation tools in one school. Participants are fourth year (S4) students(aged 14–16) in state-funded Scottish secondary schools who have received some level of teacher-led sexeducation. The previous cohort of S4 students (those completing S4 in the year prior to the intervention) will serveas controls. Data will be collected from controls (month 16), baseline (month 20–21) and follow-up (month 27–30)via a web-based questionnaire, which will measure (and test the reliability of) primary outcome measures for aphase III trial (delayed initiation of/abstinence from sex and consistent condom use), secondary outcomes andmediators of sexual behaviour (including school climate and social networks). The main feasibility outcome iswhether the study meets pre-set progression criteria regarding feasibility and acceptability, measured largely via aprocess evaluation (basic measures in all 6 schools and in-depth in 2-4 schools). An economic evaluation reportingcosts alongside consequences will be conducted.

Discussion:This study will inform decisions on the feasibility, design and sample size for a phase III effectivenesstrial to assess whether the STASH intervention is effective in reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections inyoung people.

Trial registration:ISRCTN97369178
LanguageEnglish
Article number180
Number of pages14
JournalPilot and Feasibiliity Studies
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2018

Fingerprint

Reproductive Health
Feasibility Studies
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Health
Students
Diffusion of Innovation
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Social Media
Unsafe Sex
Training Support
Infection
Condoms
Evaluation
Risk-Taking
Climate
Sexual Behavior
Social Support
Sample Size
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Feasibility study

Keywords

  • sexually transmitted infections
  • sexual health
  • young people
  • social media
  • peer supporters
  • social networks
  • feasibility outcomes
  • intervention development
  • process evaluation

Cite this

Forsyth, Ross ; Purcell, Carrie ; Barry, Sarah ; Simpson, Sharon ; Hunter, Rachael ; McDaid, Lisa ; Elliot, Lawrie ; Bailey, Julia ; Wetherall, Kirsty ; McCann, Mark ; Broccatelli, Chiara ; Moore, Laurence ; Mitchell, Kirstin. / Peer-led intervention to prevent and reduce STI transmission and improve sexual health in secondary schools (STASH) : protocol for a feasibility study. In: Pilot and Feasibiliity Studies. 2018 ; Vol. 4.
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Forsyth, R, Purcell, C, Barry, S, Simpson, S, Hunter, R, McDaid, L, Elliot, L, Bailey, J, Wetherall, K, McCann, M, Broccatelli, C, Moore, L & Mitchell, K 2018, 'Peer-led intervention to prevent and reduce STI transmission and improve sexual health in secondary schools (STASH): protocol for a feasibility study' Pilot and Feasibiliity Studies, vol. 4, 180. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40814-018-0354-9

Peer-led intervention to prevent and reduce STI transmission and improve sexual health in secondary schools (STASH) : protocol for a feasibility study. / Forsyth, Ross; Purcell, Carrie ; Barry, Sarah; Simpson, Sharon; Hunter, Rachael ; McDaid, Lisa ; Elliot, Lawrie; Bailey, Julia; Wetherall, Kirsty; McCann, Mark; Broccatelli, Chiara; Moore, Laurence; Mitchell, Kirstin.

In: Pilot and Feasibiliity Studies, Vol. 4, 180, 29.11.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Peer-led intervention to prevent and reduce STI transmission and improve sexual health in secondary schools (STASH)

T2 - Pilot and Feasibiliity Studies

AU - Forsyth, Ross

AU - Purcell, Carrie

AU - Barry, Sarah

AU - Simpson, Sharon

AU - Hunter, Rachael

AU - McDaid, Lisa

AU - Elliot, Lawrie

AU - Bailey, Julia

AU - Wetherall, Kirsty

AU - McCann, Mark

AU - Broccatelli, Chiara

AU - Moore, Laurence

AU - Mitchell, Kirstin

PY - 2018/11/29

Y1 - 2018/11/29

N2 - Background:Young people in the UK are at highest risk of sexually transmitted infections and report higher levelsof unsafe sex than any other age group. Involving peer supporters in intervention delivery is acceptable to studentsand effective in reducing risk behaviours via‘diffusion of innovation’, particularly where peer supporters areinfluential in their networks. Informal peer-led interventions offer a useful alternative to peer-led didactic teaching,which has shown limited effects. Building on the successful ASSIST anti-smoking intervention, the‘STis And SexualHealth’(STASH) intervention involves identification and recruitment of the most influential students as peersupporters, training and support to these students by specialist trainers, positive sex and relationships messages,spread by peer supporters to their friendship groups in person and via social media.Methods/design:This protocol describes a feasibility trial of the STASH intervention in six schools. It builds on anearlier study phase of intervention co-development using patient and public involvement (PPI) activities, followedby a pilot of intervention components and evaluation tools in one school. Participants are fourth year (S4) students(aged 14–16) in state-funded Scottish secondary schools who have received some level of teacher-led sexeducation. The previous cohort of S4 students (those completing S4 in the year prior to the intervention) will serveas controls. Data will be collected from controls (month 16), baseline (month 20–21) and follow-up (month 27–30)via a web-based questionnaire, which will measure (and test the reliability of) primary outcome measures for aphase III trial (delayed initiation of/abstinence from sex and consistent condom use), secondary outcomes andmediators of sexual behaviour (including school climate and social networks). The main feasibility outcome iswhether the study meets pre-set progression criteria regarding feasibility and acceptability, measured largely via aprocess evaluation (basic measures in all 6 schools and in-depth in 2-4 schools). An economic evaluation reportingcosts alongside consequences will be conducted.Discussion:This study will inform decisions on the feasibility, design and sample size for a phase III effectivenesstrial to assess whether the STASH intervention is effective in reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections inyoung people.Trial registration:ISRCTN97369178

AB - Background:Young people in the UK are at highest risk of sexually transmitted infections and report higher levelsof unsafe sex than any other age group. Involving peer supporters in intervention delivery is acceptable to studentsand effective in reducing risk behaviours via‘diffusion of innovation’, particularly where peer supporters areinfluential in their networks. Informal peer-led interventions offer a useful alternative to peer-led didactic teaching,which has shown limited effects. Building on the successful ASSIST anti-smoking intervention, the‘STis And SexualHealth’(STASH) intervention involves identification and recruitment of the most influential students as peersupporters, training and support to these students by specialist trainers, positive sex and relationships messages,spread by peer supporters to their friendship groups in person and via social media.Methods/design:This protocol describes a feasibility trial of the STASH intervention in six schools. It builds on anearlier study phase of intervention co-development using patient and public involvement (PPI) activities, followedby a pilot of intervention components and evaluation tools in one school. Participants are fourth year (S4) students(aged 14–16) in state-funded Scottish secondary schools who have received some level of teacher-led sexeducation. The previous cohort of S4 students (those completing S4 in the year prior to the intervention) will serveas controls. Data will be collected from controls (month 16), baseline (month 20–21) and follow-up (month 27–30)via a web-based questionnaire, which will measure (and test the reliability of) primary outcome measures for aphase III trial (delayed initiation of/abstinence from sex and consistent condom use), secondary outcomes andmediators of sexual behaviour (including school climate and social networks). The main feasibility outcome iswhether the study meets pre-set progression criteria regarding feasibility and acceptability, measured largely via aprocess evaluation (basic measures in all 6 schools and in-depth in 2-4 schools). An economic evaluation reportingcosts alongside consequences will be conducted.Discussion:This study will inform decisions on the feasibility, design and sample size for a phase III effectivenesstrial to assess whether the STASH intervention is effective in reducing the risk of sexually transmitted infections inyoung people.Trial registration:ISRCTN97369178

KW - sexually transmitted infections

KW - sexual health

KW - young people

KW - social media

KW - peer supporters

KW - social networks

KW - feasibility outcomes

KW - intervention development

KW - process evaluation

U2 - 10.1186/s40814-018-0354-9

DO - 10.1186/s40814-018-0354-9

M3 - Article

VL - 4

JO - Pilot and Feasibiliity Studies

JF - Pilot and Feasibiliity Studies

SN - 2055-5784

M1 - 180

ER -