Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Looked after young people: reducing health inequalities through an evidence- and theory-informed intervention

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Objective: The study aimed to design and evaluate a health behaviour change intervention for looked after young people, targeting sexual health, smoking, exercise, healthy eating and non-dependent alcohol and drug use.

Design: A pre-post intervention evaluation was undertaken exploring health behaviours and wellbeing.

Methodology: The one-to-one intervention was individually tailored to each person. Young people eligible for the intervention were aged 11 years and over and were 'looked after', meaning they were under a supervision order with a local authority in Scotland, or were a care leaver. A total of 144 young people referred to the intervention service between March 2009 and January 2014 were eligible for the evaluation. Evaluation data were analysed using standard statistical tests on SPSS.

Results: Behaviour change techniques, including goal setting, action planning, barrier identification/problem solving and motivational interviewing contributed to improvements in all areas. Difficulties with consent and follow-up were highlighted as barriers to effective evaluation.

Conclusion: Improving the current health of looked after young people with a view to prevent future ill health using a tailored intervention with behaviour change techniques enables this group to improve health behaviours, despite numerous challenges in working with these vulnerable clients.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-822
Number of pages12
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number7
Early online date11 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

    Research areas

  • Evidence-based practice, Health, Looked after children, Prevention, Scotland

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Communication, trust and dental anxiety: a person-centred approach for dental attendance behaviours

    Yuan, S., Freeman, R., Hill, K., Newton, T. & Humphris, G., 13 Oct 2020, In : Dentistry Journal. 8, 4, 11 p., 118.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Loneliness and quality of life after head and neck cancer

    Dahill, A., Al-Nakisbandi, H., Cunningham, K. B., Humphris, G. M., Lowe, D. & Rogers, S. N., 1 Oct 2020, In : British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. 58, 8, p. P959-965

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Using a patient prompt list to raise concerns in oncology clinics does not necessarily lead to longer consultations

    Rogers, S. N., Semple, C., Humphris, G. M., Lowe, D. & Kanatas, A., 19 Aug 2020, In : British Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. School-based health education programmes, health-learning capacity and child oral health–related quality of life

    Freeman, R., Gibson, B., Humphris, G. M., Leonard, H., Yuan, S. & Whelton, H., 1 Oct 2016, In : Health Education Journal. 75, 6, p. 698-711 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Is disgust the driver behind the selection of images for UK tobacco packets?

    Humphris, G. M. & Williams, B., Sep 2014, In : Health Education Journal. 73, 5, p. 522-529 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Young people's computer use: implications for Health Education

    Alexander, L. M. & Currie, C. E., 2004, In : Health Education Journal. 104, 4

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 252522571