Safetxt:A randomised controlled trial of an intervention delivered by mobile phone messaging to reduce sexually transmitted infections (STI) by increasing sexual health precaution behaviours in young people.

Record ID 32016000211
Authors' objectives: Sexually transmitted infections are common in young people. They can cause important health problems, like infertility. People are less likely to get an infection if they use condoms and get tested before they stop using condoms with a new partner. People with an infection are less likely to get another infection if they tell their partner. Young people can find it hard to do these things. Health education can help people use condoms and get tested. Using condoms and getting tested can reduce sexually transmitted infections. But many forms of current health education do not appeal to young people. Few approaches have been carefully tested so, we don t know if they work. Mobile phones are popular with young people. Support delivered by text message could help young people use condoms and get tested. The support could help them to tell partner(s) about an infection. Text messages are cheap. Young people could get the support, wherever they are. We know that these messages work to help people stop smoking, but we don t know if they work for sexual health. In sexual health, until now, studies of the use of text messages have not been high quality. For example, they have not tried to help people tell partners about an infection or been based on tried and tested approaches to changing behaviour. We have developed support for young people delivered by text message aimed at reducing sexually transmitted infections. It is designed to help young people use condoms, get tested and tell a partner about an infection. This approach was developed with young people and experts. We have used tried and tested approaches to changing behaviour. We conducted a pilot study which showed it is possible to do a large scale study. Young people were happy to join the study and we recruited ahead of schedule. We were able to collect the samples we needed to test for sexually transmitted infection, one year later. Young people liked the messages. They felt that the messages increased their knowledge in how to use condoms. They said the messages helped them to tell a partner about an infection. Some women said they shared the messages with their partner to get them to use condoms. Our study will tell us if this form of health education reduces sexually transmitted infections. We will find out if it helps young people tell a partner about an infection and if it helps them use condoms and get tested. We will recruit 5000 young people. We will randomly (by chance) send people either the support messages, or not. This will allow us to find out whether it is the messages that are making a difference. The research team includes experts in the design and management of trials, statistics, behaviour change and sexual health. The team has specific experience in designing, delivering and evaluating mobile phone based health education.
Project Status: Ongoing
Anticipated Publish Date: 2021
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: England, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Adolescent
  • Reproductive Health
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  • Health Education
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Text Messaging
  • Young Adult
Organisation Name: NIHR Public Health Research programme
Contact Address: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health and Care Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK
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