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An evaluation of a nurse led Sexual Health Outreach Service in schools

Ingram, Jenny; Salmon, Debra


Jenny Ingram

Debra Salmon


Objective: To describe patterns and reasons of attendance and young people’s views of the drop-in service.
Design: Analysis of a prospective database, questionnaire survey and qualitative interviews and discussions.
Setting: Sexual health drop-in clinics in 16 secondary schools (including three pupil-referral units) in
deprived areas of a city in South West England
Methods: Nurse-completed consultations with young people; self-report questionnaires distributed by
youth workers at the clinics; and interviews with young people in personal, social and health education
(PSHE) lessons and at lunchtimes.
Results: 515 young people made 1,303 visits over 15 months for nurse consultations (mean age
14.7 years). The mean age of first sex was 13.8 years (range 10 to 16 years). The service attracted
‘hard-to-reach’ young people, including boys, those less academically able, and those engaging in sexual
intercourse at younger ages. A wide range of services were taken up including contraception, emergency
contraception, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) testing and treatment, pregnancy tests, and referral
to other services. Young people reported high levels of satisfaction with staff attitudes and clinic
environment. Youth workers saw a younger age group than nurses, giving advice prior to sexual activity,
about relationships, ‘safer sex’ and delaying sex. Barriers to use included: worries about embarrassment,
cultural issues, and confidentiality.
Conclusions: Locating sexual health drop-in clinics in schools within deprived communities makes them
accessible to many vulnerable young people. Those having sex early attended, often before they had sex, and
a large number of boys came for advice and condoms.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2010
Journal Health Education Journal
Print ISSN 0017-8969
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Issue 3
Pages 227-235
Institution Citation Ingram, J., & Salmon, D. (2010). An evaluation of a nurse led Sexual Health Outreach Service in schools. Health Education Journal, 69(3), 227-235.
Keywords deprivation, young people, youth workers, sexual health, nurses
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