What do we want to know?
Life checks have been proposed by the English Department of Health as a personalised service providing support and advice at key stages throughout the lifespan to help people to maintain and improve their health. For young people, the proposed key stage for a life check is the transition between primary and secondary school sat ages 11 to 12 years. This review was a scoping exercise to identify the size and scope of the available research evidence relevant to the life check proposal for young people.
Who wants to know?
Policy makers, practitioners, researchers, parents, young people.
What did we find?
We identified 70 relevant studies from 13 different countries. The majority of these studies examined the impact of life check style intervention on health and other outcomes. A smaller number of studies looked at how to optimise the uptake of the life check or whether young people view life checks as an appropriate way to promote their health. A variety of life check style interventions have been studied ranging from those with a focus on single issues (e.g. physical activity, asthma) to those involving broad-ranging assessments of health behaviours. Interventions have been delivered in school and healthcare setting by nurses, doctors, and other specialists such as school counsellors and dentists.
What are the implications?
There is a small, but nontheless substantive, body of research evidence relevant to the life check proposal for young people. This evidence can address questions about the effectiveness, acceptability and uptake of the life check but a full systematic review is required to assess the quality of this evidence and synthesise the findings. Such a review would need to consider the most relevant outcomes of interest and how effectiveness and acceptaibility might vary by setting, provider and intervention content.
This summary was prepared by the EPPI-Centre
This report should be cited as: Harden A, Kavanagh J, Powell C, Oliver K, Oakley A (2007) A scoping review of the evidence relevant to life checks for young people aged 9 to 14 years. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.