Coventry University contributes to Department of Health guidance for sexual health

Interventions developed by researchers at Coventry University have been showcased as examples of best practice in new guidance for sexual healthcare pathways for school nursing and health visitors.

The Department of Health guidance provides background to the sexual health and wellbeing issues of young people in the UK and sets out a case for the delivery of sexual healthcare and education by this professional group. This includes delivering on the Public Health outcomes framework, the framework for sexual health improvement, Safeguarding children, effective partnership working, and a timeline of content for sex and relationships education provision across the school curriculum. Dr Katherine Brown, leader of the Studies in Adolescent Sexual Health (SASH) team, was one of several national experts involved in developing this guidance.

Two eHealth interventions developed by the SASH team in partnership with local public health and council colleagues have been included in this guidance. The PR:EPARe Serious Game is a sex-education tool which addresses the issue of sexual coercion amongst young people. The game has been successfully trialled and supports young people to understand and protect themselves from sexual pressure. The Respect Yourself website and web app is a publicly available resource developed with young people to provide information and support on a range of sexual health issues. The site attracted considerable media attention when launched and has now become a highly accessed, well known site for young people.

The incorporation of SASH interventions in this national guidance highlights the ongoing impact of this highly applied, theory-driven body of work. SASH continues to extend the learning in these and related areas and translate this learning into real-world programmes of change.