Systematic review of sexual health interventions with young people from black & minority ethnic communities

Authors: Simkhada, P., van Teijlingen, E., Yakubu, B., Mandava, L., Bhattacharya, S., Eboh, W. and Pitchforth, E.

Publisher: University of Aberdeen

Place of Publication: Aberdeen, Scotland


There is little data on sexual well-being of young people from BME in Scotland. The purpose of this systematic review of the literature covering sexual health interventions with young people from BME communities was to collate the ‘best evidence of effectiveness’ in the field and make recommendations for further practice. To do this, evidence was sought about such interventions in any industrialised country. Limited research has previously been conducted in this area and a broad definition of both sexual health and ethnic minorities was taken in order to maximise the number of studies that could be included in the review.

Researchers searched a wide range of (electronic) data bases for studies aimed at young people from BME communities which included an sexual health-type intervention, an evaluation, a control of comparison group, clearly defined outcomes and which were published in the English language. In addition we searched for sexual health studies of (a) parents and carers of young people in the BME communities; (b) professionals working with young BME people;and (c) access to sexual health services for young BME people.

The systematic review found 52 relevant papers (from nearly 5,000) reporting interventions in this area, but only one was based in the UK. The majority of studies were based in the US and involved interventions aimed at African Americans or Hispanics. Interventions were divided into nine categories according to targeted outcomes and/or group: (1) general sexual health and behaviour; (2) pregnancy avoidance; (3) Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV; (4) Sex and Relationship Education for young people from BME communities; (5) BME parents and carers; (6) professionals who work with young BME people; (7) access to sexual health services for BME youths; (8) peer education; and (9) BME communities targeted in order to improve sexual health in BME youths. The most common method used in included studies was a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT), employed in just over half of the interventions.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Edwin van Teijlingen