Involving teenage men in preventing unplanned pregnancy: A feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial in schools

Eimear Ruane-McAteer, Aine Aventin, Michael Clarke, Lisa McDaid, Maria Lohan

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


World health organisations advocate a direct focus on adolescent men in reducing adolescent pregnancy, however no trials have been conducted. This trial (ISRCTN11632300; NCT02092480) determines whether a novel Relationship and Sexuality Educational intervention, If I Were Jack, which emphasises positive male responsibility in preventing unintended pregnancies and involves an interactive video drama, was acceptable and feasible to implement in mixed-sex UK classrooms.
The trial was an unblinded parallel-group cluster randomised controlled feasibility trial with embedded process and cost evaluation in eight secondary schools (unit of randomisation) among 831 pupils (mean age 14) in Northern Ireland, alongside a qualitative evaluation of transferability in ten schools in Scotland, Wales and England. Study duration was twelve months (from November 2014), with nine month follow-up.
The results of the study demonstrated that the intervention was acceptable to schools, pupils and teachers, and could be feasibly implemented, cost-effectively, with minor enhancements. The between-group difference in incidence of unprotected sex (primary outcome at pupil level) of 1.3% (95% CI 0.5-2.2) by nine months demonstrated a potential effect size consistent with those reported to have had meaningful impact on teenage pregnancy.
The study responds to global health policy for a paradigm shift towards inclusion of men in the achievement of sexual and reproductive health goals in a practical way by demonstrating that a gender-sensitive intervention targeting males to prevent teenage pregnancy is acceptable to adolescent men and women and implementable in formal education structures. Feasibility results indicated that If I Were Jack merits further effectiveness testing. Recruitment is currently underway for a UK wide cluster randomised controlled trial.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2018
EventBritish Psychological Society - Male Psychology Conference - University College London, London, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Jun 201823 Jun 2018


ConferenceBritish Psychological Society - Male Psychology Conference
Abbreviated titleBPS Male Psychology Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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