Teen4.info: a qualitative study to develop and evaluate of a reproductive health website developed in partnership with teenagers and young parents from Oxford and Great Yarmouth

Teen4.info: a qualitative study to develop and evaluate of a reproductive

health website developed in partnership with teenagers and young parents from

Oxford and Great Yarmouth

C. Pyper (1), P. Johnson (2), J. Knight (1), C. Crook (3), S. Kaduskar (4),

A. Boutyeb (5)

Department of Public Health, University of Oxford, Old Road Campus, Oxford,

OX3 7LF, UK (1); Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of

Oxford, Oxford Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK (2); Bury Knowle Health Centre,

Oxford, UK (3); Consultant to Bury Knowle Health Centre, Oxford, UK (4); Young

parent support worker, Bury Knowle Health Centre, Oxford, UK (5); Funding:

British Telecom Higher Education Award & DoH Teenage Pregnancy Unit, DLM


Introduction: The UK has the highest incidence of teenage pregnancy in

Europe, which contributes to a high proportion of socially disadvantaged single

parents. In addition to unhealthy lifestyles many are also infrequent attendees

of antenatal health care systems and have poor pregnancy and perinatal outcomes,

which may have long-term health, social and economic consequences.

Aim: To use website technology and a participatory approach to improve

health promotion about Reproductive Health including: reproductive & sexual

health; access to local groups and services and accesses to educational and

vocational training opportunities.

Design and setting: A qualitative study in primary health care centres.

Subjects: Teenagers and young parents living in Oxford and Great


Methods: The research involves the development and evaluation of

information about reproductive health relevant to the target groups. The

facilitators and support workers from the project team and young parents from

each of the communities involved are working together to develop the pilot

website A variety of methods is being used to support the participants in the

development and co-ordination of the website, including facilitated group

discussion, personal stories (narratives) and frequently asked questions. The

information is frequently displayed as a series of images to assist those with

low literacy skills. The participatory techniques used ensure that the content

and design of the information is locally relevant and easily understood by the

target group. An example of the information currently under development can be

viewed at the website: www.Teen4.info. The website includes a locally relevant

section for each community and a ‘core’ section (or hub) which is focussing

on general issues developed in collaboration between the communities.

Evaluation: An initial evaluation of the teenage website project has

been completed. A questionnaire survey and focus groups with teenagers and young

parents who to date have not been involved in the development of the content of

the web-site is being conducted in order to gain further understanding about the

social, health and educational needs of teenagers who are vulnerable to becoming


Results: The evaluation will describe the key lessons learnt under

five headings: historical development of the website; the facilitators’

experience of involvement; the participants’ experience of involvement; the

participatory methodology of the facilitation process; the development of ideas

and concepts tried and revised. We will also present preliminary findings from

the questionnaire survey

Conclusion: A reproductive health website needs to be dynamic and

responsive to the needs of local groups. Many young people prefer images and

photos to large amounts of written text. There is a need for peer group support

workers to facilitate young parenting groups. There is a need for designers

involved with the website development to become IT support workers and work

directly with the groups. The process of developing the website in a

participatory way is method for delivering a health promotion to disadvantaged

young parents.

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