Peer Led Interventions
A randomised controlled trial of the effectiveness of a school-based, peer-led smoking intervention. This project evaluated a different approach, which was not classroom-based or teacher-delivered. Instead, peer-nominated students in Year 8 (aged 12-13) were recruited as 'peer supporters' and given intensive training off the school premises by professional health promotion staff. The peer supporters were trained to intervene informally with their Year 8 peers in everyday situations to discourage them from smoking (Audrey et al., 2004).
The aim of the study was to develop and pilot a peer mentoring intervention to reduce teenage pregnancy in looked after children and care leavers. Young women aged 19-25 who have been through the care system were recruited as peer mentors for young women aged 14-18 who were currently in care. Recruitment took place in 3 Local Authorities (Ealing, Lambeth and Essex). Mentor training was led by the National Children's Bureau (NCB). The intervention was piloted for 3 months in Ealing then refined. The second phase involved 48 mentees from the 3 Local Authorities. They were randomised so that half the mentees will received a peer mentor, and the other half was a control group and received care as usual.
PLAN-A was a Peer-Led physical Activity iNtervention for Adolescent girls. The study was a feasibility study in secondary schools in Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire. PLAN-A was led by Dr. Simon Sebire and a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Bristol and Swansea University helped deliver the study.
A previous DECIPHer study, ASSIST, found that the peer-led model was successful in reducing instances of smoking in schools. PLAN-A used the ASSIST model to test whether a peer-led physical activity interventions for Year 8 girls is feasible and if it has the potential to increase physical activity levels of participants.
The project was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Public Health Research (NIHR PHR) Programme (project number 13/90/16). A pilot study was undertaken in one school in Wiltshire. The pilot study tested and refined the intervention materials. Six schools were recruited for the main feasibility study and recruitment of Year 8 girls began in September 2015.
Results of the feasibility study appeared in The International Journal of Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity