Projects per year
Methods: Thirty-one young people were approached and twenty-one were recruited to the feasibility study. Participants were aged 12–16 years (mean age = 14.10 years) and randomised to either receive weekly 2-hour mentoring sessions for one academic year (n = 11, intervention) or care as usual (n = 10, control). Participants were asked to complete self-reported questionnaires on a range of measures including the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire, which were analysed descriptively. Qualitative interviews were conducted with participants and with parents, schools staff, mentors and commissioners as part of the process evaluation. Interviews were facilitated using a topic guide, were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.
Results: Follow-up at 6 and 12 months was 100% and 86% for 18 months. Participants were happy to complete the self-report questionnaires, showed a good understanding of randomisation and were accepting of this study design. Control group participants reported wanting a mentor and some were mildly upset at not achieving this. Intervention group participants indicated that having an adult mentor, unconnected with the school that they could talk to about their problems helped them to give voice to and deal with difficult feelings. Some mentees reported negative experiences of the way that the mentoring relationship ended. The process evaluation showed that the study design and intervention were acceptable to parents, mentors, schools and commissioners. A need for further evidence on the effectiveness of mentoring was highlighted by commissioners, and parents and schools staff expressed a wish to be informed of progress made by mentees during mentoring sessions.
Conclusion: It is feasible and acceptable to recruit, randomise and retain students at risk of exclusion from school to an RCT for 6, 12 and 18 month follow-up. Further research is required to characterise youth mentoring in schools in the UK and to investigate how to best measure its effectiveness before a definitive trial can be considered.
|Title of host publication||Society for Social Medicine, 60th Annual Scientific Meeting, University of York, 14–16 September 2016|
|Publisher||BMJ Publishing Group|
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Sep 2016|
|Name||Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health|
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