Table 1

Background details of three sexual and reproductive health projects involving patient and public involvement (PPI) with young people

Project nameProject 1:
Improving Care-Experienced Young People’s (CEYP) Access to SRH Services in Edinburgh
Project 2:
CONUNDRUM (Condom & Contraception Understandings: Researching Uptake and Motivations)
Project 3:
Communicating Sexual Consent
Duration5 months14 months8 months
LocationEdinburgh and LothiansScotland-wideGreater Glasgow & Clyde, Lothians, Lanarkshire
Sector/s of teamCollaboration between NHS sexual health staff (KK and colleagues) and a youth organisation (ZC)Led by university-based researchers (RL, CB, CM and colleagues), in collaboration with sexual health leads from Scottish NHS health boards and Scottish GovernmentUniversity-based researchers (CM and colleague)
How did the project arise?Conceived by clinic-based sexual health practitioners and community-based health promotion team in response to team reflection on need to improve CEYP’s access to, and experiences of, SRH services. Funded by Edinburgh Family Planning Trust and NHS Lothian.A need for research evidence was identified and funded by three NHS Scotland health boards, in partnership with Scottish Government, in response to changes in YP’s use of free condom services and some forms of LARC. Research team engaged through competitive tender process. Research questions developed through PPI activities with stakeholders, including YP.Conceived and funded by three NHS Scotland health boards, in partnership with Scottish Government, in response to identified need for resources on sexual consent. Research team engaged through competitive tender process.
PPI-related project aimsTo involve care-experienced YP in identifying key priorities for service improvement within a specified SRH clinic, including co-developing an effective referral pathway.To involve YP in co-developing a mixed methods study exploring factors shaping condom and contraception use among YP in Scotland.To ensure that YP’s views inform the development of a health promotion film being developed by NHS health boards in Scotland to promote communication around sexual consent.
Methods used to involve young people in PPI activitiesMulti-phase process with 33 YP aged 13–25 years, including:
  • Exploring CEYP’s experiences of SRH services via interviews (n=15);

  • Establishing YP’s priorities via consultation activities designed to establish which issues identified in interviews were the most important to action (n=12);

  • Co-developing recommendations for service improvement via a workshop with 6 CEYP and SRH clinic staff. Workshop focused on identifying action points for SRH service improvement for CEYP.

Multi-phase process with 60 YP aged 16–24 years, including:
  • Co-developing research priorities and questions via six in-person workshops with 38 YP. Creative drawing methods and discussion activities used to: (1) explore views on factors shaping condom and contraception use; (2) identify priority research questions; (3) generate ideas for survey items addressing research questions;

  • Co-developing online survey via two virtual meetings with 9 YP to review and refine: draft survey items; the online format; information provided to potential respondents; strategy for advertising survey via social media;

  • Co-developing policy recommendations via two virtual meetings with 13 YP. Meetings included review and discussion of study findings; activities using virtual notepads to collaboratively generate and discuss ideas for policy change.

Multi-phase process with 58 YP aged 16–25 years, including:
  • Co-developing and piloting research tools (eg, topic guides) via two meetings with 5 YP. Meetings focused on ensuring language and questions were relevant, interesting, and comprehensible for YP;

  • Exploring YP’s views via focus groups and individual interviews;

  • Collaborative data interpretation, and co-developing a YP’s report about the study via five meetings with 3 YP. Meetings focused on ‘sense-checking’ study findings with YP, exploring their ideas about what the findings mean for the consent resource that was developed, and co-developing the content, structure and graphics for the YP’s report.

How were young people recruited for PPI activities?Multi-strand approach including recruitment via: (1) third sector youth services; (2) secure services and (3) Young People’s Centres.Multi-strand approach including recruitment via: (1) a diverse range of youth groups and third sector youth organisations and (2) research team’s existing contacts with youth workers.Multi-strand approach including recruitment via: (1) youth organisations and (2) research team’s existing contacts with YP involved in previous sexual health-related research.
Were young people compensated for their involvement?YP were not compensated for their participation in consultation or workshop activities. YP who participated in interviews received a £5 voucher for their involvement.Yes – YP received vouchers for participation in workshops and meetings (approx. £25 per hour, with no preparation time required).Yes – both youth advisors and research participants received vouchers for their participation (approx. £20 per hour).
  • CEYP, care-experienced young people ; LARC, long-acting reversible contraception; NHS, National Health Service; SRH, sexual and reproductive health; YP, young people.