Engaging parents in digital sexual and reproductive health education: evidence from the JACK trial

Case Studies & Research
18 p.
Periodical title
Reproductive Health, 17, 132

Research evidence and international policy highlight the central role that parents play in promoting positive sexual behaviour and outcomes in their children, however they can be difficult to engage in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) education programmes. Digital health promotion that uses online and mobile technologies (OMTs) to promote parent-child communication may offer an innovative solution to reach parents, however, few programmes have used OMTs to involve parents in SRH, and none have reported lessons learned in relation to optimising engagement. This study addresses this gap in the literature by reporting acceptability and feasibility of using OMTs to engage parents in SRH education. The aim was to assess user engagement with the parental components in relation to three concepts: 1) implementation fidelity (was this programme component carried out as intended?); 2) acceptability and feasibility (if carried out, was it considered good or bad?); and 3) general barriers and facilitators to using OMTs with parents in school-based SRH promotion. The findings offer recommendations for programme development and future research seeking to use digital SRH education for parents. A key message is that while digital parental materials show promise for engaging parents in SRH education, in order to optimise engagement, parent materials that address barriers to parental engagement should be coupled with efforts to increase school and teacher confidence to communicate with parents on sensitive topics.

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