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The University of Southampton

Research project: Sexual health promotion and policy

Currently Active: 

Policy development from formulation to implementation is highly complex. The processes involved are non-linear and often appear irrational since they are influenced by a diverse range of players, by the particularities of the political process and by the social context. The area of sexual health policy is especially complex compared with other areas of health because of the fine line between public and private action and the sensitivity and controversy surrounding sexuality and its consequences.

Past and present projects looking at sexual health promotion and policy:

Using serious games simulations to influence sexual behaviour

The main aim of this PhD study is to investigate the use of serious games simulations for public health issues, and, in particular, to explore the use of simulations to access and influence attitudes to sexual behaviour. Simulation models can give young people the potential to engage with a simulated world of sexual interactions to help better understand the ramifications of sexual risk-taking behaviours.

PhD Studentship – Anastasia Eleftheriou

Supervisors - Professor Seth Bullock, Professor Cynthia Graham, Professor Roger Ingham

Funding - Institute for Complex Systems Simulation & EPSRC

Status – Currently active

Measuring alcohol and sexual health literacy in secondary schools

This study aims to develop a realistic instrument for measuring the skill set underpinning adolescent health literacy. The World Health Organisation recognizes the vital importance of health literacy among teenagers as future citizens, and the eventual aim of this project is to apply the instrument in English secondary school situations to inform curriculum development and the role of school health professionals. The focus is on establishing a better understanding of adolescent health literacy around alcohol and sexual health in schools, as an important starting point for developing an authentic instrument for measuring health literacy in the future in these areas and more widely. Alcohol and sexual health in young people are key public health issues and whilst there have been some favourable trends in both in the UK, there is still concern about levels of alcohol misuse and rates of sexually transmitted infection and unintended pregnancies.

PhD Studentship – Pavithra Premkumar

Supervisors – Dr Marcus GraceProfessor Paul Roderick, Professor Cynthia Graham, Professor Don Nutbeam

Status – Currently active

Feasibility study of the Kinsey Institute Homework Intervention (KIHIS-UK) to promote correct and consistent condom use

The objectives of the KIHIS-UK study include adapting a condom promotion programme which has been developed and tested in the US for use among young men in the UK. The US programme gives out "condom kits" (containing different condoms and lubricants) asks men to try out the condoms at home by themselves by completing various homework exercises. As they test each condom they are asked to think about their own pleasure and which condoms they like best.

The aim of the programme is for men to improve their condom skills by 1) finding the "right/best" types of condoms and lubricants, 2) testing techniques of applying them, and 3) by practicing with them in no pressure situations (on their own).

In collaboration with our colleagues at the Centre for Technology Enabled Health Research, Coventry University, we are exploring whether the idea can be adapted for use with men in the UK to improve their skills in applying condoms and their pleasure in using them.

Funding – MRC-PHIND

Status – Currently active

E-KIHIS: design and evaluation of an online version of the Kinsey Institute Homework Intervention (KIHIS) programme to enhance male condom use

PhD Studentship – Marta Glowacka

Supervisors: Professor Cynthia Graham

Status – Currently active

Assessing the impact of pelvic pain on women’s lives

The aim of the current study is to pilot a new questionnaire that assesses the impact of chronic pelvic pain on women’s lives. The questionnaire will be designed specifically for women with chronic pelvic pain and will assess factors considered relevant and important to them.

PhD Studentship – Miznah Al-Abbadey

Supervisors - Professor Cynthia Graham, Dr Christina Liossi

Status – Currently active

The Impact of teenage period pain on quality of life for young girls and their families

Period-related pain is highly prevalent among young girls and can negatively impact on many aspects of life (education, social activities, family relationships etc). The findings from this PhD study will be critical to the development of future interventions to improve quality of life for teenage girls experiencing dysmenorrhea.

PhD Studentship – Polly Langdon

Supervisors - Professor Cynthia Graham

Status – Currently active

Evaluation of early medical abortion (EMA) in non-traditional settings

This project assesses the safety, effectiveness and acceptability of early medical abortions (EMAs) in non-traditional settings, and to help establish a protocol to cover the elements and processes required for a safe EMA service in non-traditional settings.

Funding - Department of Health

Safe Passages to Adulthood

Developed with the support of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Safe Passages to Adulthood is a programme of research into young people’s sexual and reproductive health in poorer country settings.
Programme activities aim to increase the capacity of developing country partners to generate new knowledge and develop systematic guidelines for action at programme and policy levels.

Related research groups

Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP)
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