Exploring the Potential of a School-Based Online Health and Wellbeing Screening Tool: Young People’s Perspectives

Nicholas Woodrow*, Hannah Fairbrother, Katrina H d'Apice, Katie Breheny, Patricia N Albers, Clare Mills, Sarah Tebbett, Rona M Campbell, Frank de Vocht

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


Despite high levels of need, many young people who experience health issues do not seek, access or receive support. Between May and November 2021, using semi-structured interviews, we explored the perspectives of 51 young people (aged 13–14) from two schools who had taken part in a novel online health and wellbeing screening programme, the Digital Health Contact (DHC). One school delivered the DHC during home-learning due to COVID-19 restrictions, whilst the other delivered it in school when restrictions were lifted. The DHC was seen as a useful approach for identifying health need and providing support, and had high levels of acceptability. Young people appreciated the online format of the DHC screening questionnaire and thought this facilitated more honest responses than a face-to-face approach might generate. Completion at home, compared to school-based completion, was perceived as more private and less time-pressured, which young people thought facilitated more honest and detailed responses. Young people’s understanding of the screening process (including professional service involvement and confidentiality) influenced engagement and responses. Overall, our findings afford important insights around young people’s perspectives of participating in screening programmes, and highlight key considerations for the development and delivery of health screening approaches in (and out of) school.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4062
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Public Health Research (SPHR) (SPHR-PHPES009-DHC). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Structured keywords

  • HEHP@Bristol


  • schools
  • screening
  • child
  • adolescent
  • health
  • mental health


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