Health outcomes of youth development programme in England: prospective matched comparison study

Wiggins, M; Bonell, C; Sawtell, M; Austerberry, H; Burchett, H; Allen, E; Strange, V; (2009) Health outcomes of youth development programme in England: prospective matched comparison study. BMJ (Clinical research ed), 339. b2534. ISSN 0959-8138 DOI:

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effectiveness of youth development in reducing teenage pregnancy, substance use, and other outcomes.<br/> DESIGN: Prospective matched comparison study.<br/> SETTING: 54 youth service sites in England.<br/> PARTICIPANTS: Young people (n=2724) aged 13-15 years at baseline deemed by professionals as at risk of teenage pregnancy, substance misuse, or school exclusion or to be vulnerable.<br/> INTERVENTION: Intensive, multicomponent youth development programme including sex and drugs education (Young People's Development Programme) versus standard youth provision.<br/> MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Various, including pregnancy, weekly cannabis use, and monthly drunkenness at 18 months.<br/> RESULTS: Young women in the intervention group more commonly reported pregnancy than did those in the comparison group (16% v 6%; adjusted odds ratio 3.55, 95% confidence interval 1.32 to 9.50). Young women in the intervention group also more commonly reported early heterosexual experience (58% v 33%; adjusted odds ratio 2.53, 1.09 to 5.92) and expectation of teenage parenthood (34% v 24%; 1.61, 1.07 to 2.43).<br/> CONCLUSIONS: No evidence was found that the intervention was effective in delaying heterosexual experience or reducing pregnancies, drunkenness, or cannabis use. Some results suggested an adverse effect. Although methodological limitations may at least partly explain these findings, any further implementation of such interventions in the UK should be only within randomised trials.<br/>

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adolescent, Adolescent Health Services, organization & administration, England, Female, Humans, Male, Pregnancy, Pregnancy in Adolescence, prevention & control, Prognosis, Program Evaluation, Prospective Studies, Socioeconomic Factors, Substance-Related Disorders, prevention & control, Unsafe Sex, prevention & control, Vulnerable Populations
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Social and Environmental Health Research
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
PubMed ID: 19584408
Web of Science ID: 267898200001


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