Deakin University
harrison-doctorjusttalks-2016.pdf (7.86 MB)
Download file

'The doctor just talks about it': sustainable health promotion and practice in schools

Download (7.86 MB)
posted on 2016-08-01, 00:00 authored by Lyn HarrisonLyn Harrison, Debbie OllisDebbie Ollis, Gayle Savige
This research aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Docs & Teens program, which is a health access and literacy program delivered in Geelong schools and co-facilitated by local general practitioners and teachers. We were interested in whether students increased their knowledge of, and access to, local health services and if the program contributed to an improvement in their health literacy and help-seeking behaviours. We also mapped program content against current Victorian curriculum guidelines. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to gather data from students, teachers, doctors and relevant health professionals.
The findings indicate that:
•tthe program has the potential to make a valuable contribution to health access and literacy for young people in schools 

•tall involved in the program enjoyed their interactions in the program and valued the approachability of GPs and the interactive and frank teaching approaches used to deliver the program 

•tstudents and teachers valued the particular expertise of GPs 

•tteachers and schools were identified by students as important resources for obtaining health 
information and advice.
However, there were issues that related to the current provision, scope, content, outcomes and organisation of the program that raise concerns about its sustainability:
•tThe amount of content covered means that complex issues are covered in breadth rather than depth and rely on follow up from teachers post program. 

•tRelated to the above, survey data indicates that there is very little improvement in student knowledge and behaviours post program. 

•tApart from headspace there was little indication of knowledge about other community health services covered in the program content.

There is some evidence to indicate that there is a mismatch between what teachers and other stakeholders see as important content for the program compared to what students would prefer to learn. 

There is a need for GPs and teachers to consult prior to delivery of the program to make sure that the content meets the needs of individual schools.

Content needs to be up to date and closely aligned with any changes in Victorian school curriculum, and professional development for GPs and teachers needs to reflect these changes.

As the program stands, the content is suitable for Year 9 and Year 10 students and it is important that the program be modified if taught to Year 8, as was the case in one case study school.



1 - 150


Deakin University

Place of publication

Geelong, Vic.




Docs and Teens program, Research Evaluation Report

Publication classification

A6 Research report/technical paper

Copyright notice

2016, Deakin University

Usage metrics

    Research Publications


    No categories selected