Research Products

Periodically, the NCSH will release reports on message testing and pre-testing of coalition products, and other research. These reports can help inform other work that is being developed by coalition members.

Sexual Health Communications and Relationships Among Young Adults: Executive Summary of Qualitative and Quantitative Research Findings

Communicating openly with sexual and romantic partners is key to good sexual health and well-being. Yet, for many young adults (ages 18 – 26), these discussions are often anxiety-producing or avoided altogether. In 2022, NCSH conducted an IRB-approved research study to explore sexual health and relationship communications through an online survey with 1,256 young adults and 16 focus groups with 79 young adults.

This research with diverse young adults nationwide– of different gender identities, sexual orientations, races/ethnicities, education levels, and socioeconomic status– explored:

  • The perceived benefits of and barriers to open communication
  • Their comfort level in talking openly
  • The topics they’d like to discuss more openly
  • The skills and information that would help them better communicate
  • The best channels, messengers, and formats for reaching them

The executive summary includes key findings of the research, along with recommendations for future messages relating to skills, attitudes, and knowledge to help young adults talk more openly with partners.

Download the Executive Summary


Expanding the Role of Retail Health Clinics in Addressing Sexually Transmitted Infections: Selected Findings from a Qualitative Study and Recommendations for the Future

In partnership with the Convenient Care Association, NCSH helped shape a series of virtual focus groups and a brief survey conducted with 27 retail health clinic (RHC) providers, clinical managers, and administrative leadership on the role, capabilities, barriers to and benefits of STI screening and treatment in RHCs.

Based on this qualitative research, this report:

  • Overviews retail health clinics, their locations, services offered, patient populations, and background
  • Summarizes findings from the focus groups and surveys conducted with retail health clinic leadership, clinical managers, and providers
  • Discusses the barriers and challenges to providing sexual health screening and treatment
  • Includes recommendations and considerations for the future to expand the role of retail health clinics in addressing STIs.

Suggested citation: Altarum Institute and the Convenient Care Association. (2021). Expanding the Role of Retail Health Clinics in Addressing Sexually Transmitted Infections: Selected Findings from a Qualitative Study and Recommendations for the Future

Download the report here

Results of Qualitative and Online Message Testing to Support a Sexual Health Campaign

To motivate the public to take action to protect and improve their sexual health, NCSH members agreed that it was essential to define and promote the benefits of taking care of your sexual health, the core action steps to achieving good sexual health, and a short, simple definition of sexual health. Through qualitative and quantitative methods, these concepts were pre-tested with 300 members of the public to ensure they were clear, compelling, and relevant. Based on these results, a definition was selected, and a message framework for sexual health was created.

Highlights of the findings include:

  • According to the public, the four most important benefits of good sexual health were positive relationships, feeling good about yourself, peace of mind, and a healthy body.
  • The most important action steps were considered to be “value who you are and decide what’s right for you,” “build positive relationships,” and “choose partners who treat you well.”

Download the report here