Generating demand and community support for sexual and reproductive health services for young people: A review of the Literature and Programs

Reprod Health. 2010 Sep 24:7:25. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-7-25.

Abstract

Background: This review investigates the effectiveness of interventions aimed at generating demand for and use of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services by young people; and interventions aimed at generating wider community support for their use.

Methods: Reports and publications were found in the peer-reviewed and grey literature through academic search engines; web searches; the bibliographies of known conference proceedings and papers; and consultation with experts. The studies were reviewed against a set of inclusion criteria and those that met these were explored in more depth.

Results: The evidence-base for interventions aimed at both generating demand and community support for SRH services for young people was found under-developed and many available studies do not provide strong evidence. However, the potential of several methods to increase youth uptake has been demonstrated, this includes the linking of school education programs with youth friendly services, life skills approaches and social marketing and franchising. There is also evidence that the involvement of key community gatekeepers such as parents and religious leaders is vital to generating wider community support. In general a combined multi-component approach seems most promising with several success stories to build on.

Conclusions: Many areas for further research have been highlighted and there is a great need for more rigorous evaluation of programmes in this area. In particular, further evaluation of individual components within a multi-component approach is needed to elucidate the most effective interventions.