Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Sexual health promotion delivered by digital media: scoping study

Principal investigators: Dr Julia BaileyDr Sue Mann

Research Associate Dr Sonali Wayal

Sexual health problems such as unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection are an important and costly public health concern, especially for young people. The vast majority of young people have access to digital technology such as the internet and mobile phones, so there is huge potential for health promotion using digital media.

In this study we combined evidence from literature reviews with the views of young people and professional experts to make recommendations for future research, development and investment in digital interventions for sexual health for young people.

Literature review

We carried out a thorough search for all types of research evidence concerning digital technology and sexual health.

Focus Groups

We conducted focus groups with young people 15 to 24, and with the parents of teenagers, to ask their views on digital interventions for sexual health promotion.

Stakeholder Interviews

We interviewed experts and stakeholders who are e-Health or sexual health researchers, clinicians, educationalists, policy-makers and intervention developers nationally and internationally.

Expert Symposium

We held a one day symposium with experts in research, sexual health, digital media; and a one day symposium with young people, to debate the principal issues in development and implementation of digital interventions for sexual health promotion in the UK.

Digital Sexual Health for Young People - A Short Summary

This short report summarises what is known about whether digital interventions work, and how to design them and make them available in schools, clinics and online. We focus on interactive digital interventions for sexual health promotion for young people aged 13 to 24 years in the UK. 

A copy of the full report 'Sexual Health Promotion for Young People Delivered by Digital Media' is available online.

This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research Programme. http://www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/projects/phr/11300904