Forty-four studies were included in the review; 25 randomised controlled trials, 12 non-randomised studies and seven pre- and post-test studies. Follow-up varied from immediately post-intervention to four years.
Secondary school-based interventions (16 studies): Four of six abstinence-based programmes, and five of seven comprehensive programmes were found to improve parent-child communication. Five secondary school programmes reported reductions in sexual risk behaviour.
Community-based programmes (15 studies): Improvements in parent-child communication were reported in all 11 interventions and in knowledge and/or attitudes in eight interventions and reductions in sexual behaviour were reported in five programmes from a total of seven programmes which included four randomised controlled trials.
College-based programmes (two studies): Participating parents in one programme were more ready and skilled to discuss sexual issues than the parents in a control group after a two-hour session. The second study found increased parent-child communication after a 42-hour programme for undergraduate parents of children aged five years and over. None of these programmes involved the children directly.
Home-based audio or visual programmes (four studies): Improvements were found in the young peoples' knowledge, skills and/or attitudes in four programmes, but not in sexual behaviour in the three programmes that examined this outcome.
Media programmes (three studies): Improvements were identified in parent-child communication in two programmes and in young peoples' knowledge and/or attitudes in the two programmes measuring this outcome. Improvements in sexual behaviour were reported in the one programme in which this was measured.
Programmes for parents of children with learning disabilities (three studies):Improvements on several parenting measures were found in one study. Further results were presented in the paper.