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Health promotion and public health
Teenage pregnancy strategy in England: new perspective on effectiveness: a commentary
  1. Lorna Lawther,
  2. Mary Gillespie
  1. School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lorna Lawther, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, County Down, UK; l.lawther{at}

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Commentary on: Baxter AJ, Dundas R, Popham F, et al. How effective was England's teenage pregnancy strategy? A comparative analysis of high-income countries. Soc Sci Med 2021;270:113685

Implications for practice and research

  • Individual experiences of the autonomous reproductive choices and pregnancy outcomes of teenagers should be heard

  • It is morally and economically justified to analyse the effectiveness of public health interventions.

  • Whole country public health interventions should be scrutinised to minimise repetition of costly mistakes.

  • A range of measures and a whole systems perspective is required in the analysis and evaluation of effect.


Teenage pregnancy is a global issue in low-income, middle-income and high-income countries, and is associated with suboptimal health outcomes for both the mother, baby and family. Social deprivation, health inequality and educational disadvantage are considered among causative factors and outcomes; therefore, targeting the teenage pregnancy rate is a public health priority. Public Health England’s Teenage Pregnancy Strategy (TPS), which ran for …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.