Action 3:30R: Results of a Cluster Randomised Feasibility Study of a Revised Teaching Assistant-Led Extracurricular Physical Activity Intervention for 8 to 10 Year Olds.
ABSTRACT: Many children are not sufficiently physically active. We conducted a cluster-randomised feasibility trial of a revised after-school physical activity (PA) programme delivered by trained teaching assistants (TAs) to assess the potential evidence of promise for increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Participants (n = 335) aged 8?10 years were recruited from 12 primary schools in South West England. Six schools were randomised to receive the intervention and six acted as non-intervention controls. In intervention schools, TAs were trained to deliver an after-school programme for 15 weeks. The difference in mean accelerometer-assessed MVPA between intervention and control schools was assessed at follow-up (T1). The cost of programme delivery was estimated. Two schools did not deliver the intervention, meaning four intervention and six control schools were analysed at T1. There was no evidence for a difference in MVPA at T1 between intervention and control groups. Programme delivery cost was estimated at £2.06 per pupil per session. Existing provision in the 12 schools cost £5.91 per pupil per session. Action 3:30 was feasible to deliver and considerably cheaper than existing after-school provision. No difference in weekday MVPA was observed at T1 between the two groups, thus progression to a full trial is not warranted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Less than 20% of adolescents globally meet recommended levels of physical activity, and not meeting these recommended levels is associated with social disadvantage and rising disease risk. The determinants of physical activity in adolescents are multilevel and poorly understood, but the school's social environment likely plays an important role. We conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial to assess the effectiveness of a school-based programme (GoActive) to increase moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) among adolescents. METHODS AND FINDINGS:Non-fee-paying, co-educational schools including Year 9 students in the UK counties of Cambridgeshire and Essex were eligible for inclusion. Within participating schools (n = 16), all Year 9 students were eligible and invited to participate. Participants were 2,862 13- to 14-year-olds (84% of eligible students). After baseline assessment, schools were computer-randomised, stratified by school-level pupil premium funding (below/above county-specific median) and county (control: 8 schools, 1,319 participants, mean [SD] participants per school n = 165 ; intervention: 8 schools, 1,543 participants, n = 193 ). Measurement staff were blinded to allocation. The iteratively developed, feasibility-tested 12-week intervention, aligned with self-determination theory, trained older adolescent mentors and in-class peer-leaders to encourage classes to conduct 2 new weekly activities. Students and classes gained points and rewards for engaging in any activity in or out of school. The primary outcome was average daily minutes of accelerometer-assessed MVPA at 10-month follow-up; a mixed-methods process evaluation evaluated implementation. Of 2,862 recruited participants (52.1% male), 2,167 (76%) attended 10-month follow-up measurements; we analysed the primary outcome for 1,874 participants (65.5%). At 10 months, there was a mean (SD) decrease in MVPA of 8.3 (19.3) minutes in the control group and 10.4 (22.7) minutes in the intervention group (baseline-adjusted difference [95% confidence interval] -1.91 minutes [-5.53 to 1.70], p = 0.316). The programme cost £13 per student compared with control; it was not cost-effective. Overall, 62.9% of students and 87.3% of mentors reported that GoActive was fun. Teachers and mentors commented that their roles in programme delivery were unclear. Implementation fidelity was low. The main methodological limitation of this study was the relatively affluent and ethnically homogeneous sample. CONCLUSIONS:In this study, we observed that a rigorously developed school-based intervention was no more effective than standard school practice at preventing declines in adolescent physical activity. Interdisciplinary research is required to understand educational-setting-specific implementation challenges. School leaders and authorities should be realistic about expectations of the effect of school-based physical activity promotion strategies implemented at scale. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ISRCTN Registry ISRCTN31583496.
Project description:BACKGROUND: School interventions such as the Incredible Years Classroom Dinosaur Programme targets pupil behaviour across whole classrooms, yet for some children a more intense approach is needed. The Incredible Years Therapeutic Dinosaur Programme is effective for clinically referred children by enhancing social, problem-solving skills, and peer relationship-building skills when delivered in a clinical setting in small groups. The aim of this trial is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Therapeutic Programme, delivered with small groups of children at high-risk of developing conduct disorder, delivered in schools already implementing the Classroom Programme. METHODS/DESIGN: This is a pragmatic, parallel, randomised controlled trial.Two hundred and forty children (aged 4-8 years) rated by their teacher as above the 'borderline cut-off' for concern on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and their parents, will be recruited. Randomisation is by individual within blocks (schools); 1:1 ratio, intervention to waiting list control. Twenty schools will participate in two phases. Two teachers per school will deliver the programme to six intervention children for 2-hours/week for 18 weeks between baseline and first follow-up. The control children will receive the intervention after first follow up. Phase 1 comprises three data collection points - baseline and two follow-ups eight months apart. Phase 2 includes baseline and first follow-up.The Therapeutic Programme includes elements on; Learning school rules; understanding, identifying, and articulating feelings; problem solving; anger management; how to be friendly; how to do your best in school. Primary outcomes are; change in child social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Secondary outcomes are; teacher and parent mental wellbeing, child academic attainment, child and teacher school attendance. Intervention delivery will be assessed for fidelity. Intention to treat analyses will be conducted. ANCOVA, effect sizes, mediator and moderator analyses will be applied to establish differences between conditions, and for whom the intervention works best for and why. DISCUSSION: This trial will provide information on the delivery and effectiveness of a child centred, school-based intervention delivered in small groups of children, at risk of developing more severe conduct problems. The effects on child behaviour in school and home environments, academic attainment, peer interactions, parent and teacher mental health will be assessed. TRIAL REGISTRATION: UK Clinical Research Network UKCRNID8615. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN96803379.
Project description:Introduction:This paper presents the cost and cost-effectiveness of the Good School Toolkit (GST), a programme aimed at reducing physical violence perpetrated by school staff to students in Uganda. Methods:The effectiveness of the Toolkit was tested with a cluster randomised controlled trial in 42 primary schools in Luwero District, Uganda. A full economic costing evaluation and cost-effectiveness analysis were conducted alongside the trial. Both financial and economic costs were collected retrospectively from the provider's perspective to estimate total and unit costs. Results:The total cost of setting up and running the Toolkit over the 18-month trial period is estimated at US$397 233, excluding process monitor (M&E) activities. The cost to run the intervention is US$7429 per school annually, or US$15 per primary school pupil annually, in the trial intervention schools. It is estimated that the intervention has averted 1620 cases of past-week physical violence during the 18-month implementation period. The total cost per case of violence averted is US$244, and the annual implementation cost is US$96 per case averted during the trial. Conclusions:The GST is a cost-effective intervention for reducing violence against pupils in primary schools in Uganda. It compares favourably against other violence reduction interventions in the region.
Project description:Physical inactivity has been identified as a leading risk factor for premature mortality globally, and adolescents, in particular, have low physical activity levels. Schools have been identified as a setting to tackle physical inactivity. Economic evidence of school-based physical activity programmes is limited, and the costs of these programmes are not always collected in full. This paper describes a micro-costing and cost-consequence analysis of the 'Girls Active' secondary school-based programme as part of a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT). Micro-costing and cost-consequence analyses were conducted using bespoke cost diaries and questionnaires to collect programme delivery information. Outcomes for the cost-consequence analysis included health-related quality of life measured by the Child Health Utility-9D (CHU-9D), primary care General Practitioner (GP) and school-based (school nurse and school counsellor) service use as part of a cluster RCT of the 'Girls Active' programme. Overall, 1,752 secondary pupils were recruited and a complete case sample of 997 participants (Intervention n = 570, Control n = 427) was used for the cost-consequence analysis. The micro-costing analysis demonstrated that, depending upon how the programme was delivered, 'Girls Active' costs ranged from £1,054 (£2 per pupil, per school year) to £3,489 (£7 per pupil, per school year). The least costly option was to absorb 'Girls Active' strictly within curriculum hours. The analysis demonstrated no effect for the programme for the three main outcomes of interest (health-related quality of life, physical activity and service use).Micro-costing analyses demonstrated the costs of delivering the 'Girls Active' programme, addressing a gap in the United Kingdom (UK) literature regarding economic evidence from school-based physical activity programmes. This paper provides recommendations for those gathering cost and service use data in school settings to supplement validated and objective measures, furthering economic research in this field. Trial registration: -ISRCTN, ISRCTN10688342.
Project description:BACKGROUND:School-based interventions may be effective at increasing levels of physical activity (PA) among adolescents; however, there is a paucity of evidence on whether walking can be successfully promoted to increase PA in this age group. This pilot study aimed to assess the effects of a 12-week school-based peer-led brisk walking programme on levels of school-time PA post intervention. METHODS:Female participants, aged 11-13 years, were recruited from six post-primary schools in Northern Ireland. Participants were randomized by school (cluster) to participate in regular 10-15-min peer-led brisk walks throughout the school week (the WISH study) (n?=?101, two schools) or to continue with their usual PA (n?=?98, four schools). The primary outcome measure was school-time PA post intervention (week 12), assessed objectively using an Actigraph accelerometer. Secondary outcome measures included anthropometry, cardiorespiratory fitness and psychosocial measures. Changes in PA data between baseline (T0) and end of intervention (week 12) (T1) were analysed using a mixed between-within subjects analysis of variance with one between (group) and one within (time) subjects factor, with two levels. RESULTS:Of 199 participants recruited (mean age?=?12.4?±?0.6 years, 27% overweight/obese), 187 had valid accelerometer data for inclusion in subsequent analysis. A significant interaction effect was observed for changes in light intensity PA across the school day (p?=?0.003), with those in the intervention increasing their light intensity PA by 8.27 mins/day compared with a decrease of 2.14 mins/day in the control group. No significant interactions were observed for the other PA measures across the intervention. Intervention effects on school-time PA were not sustained four months post intervention. CONCLUSIONS:The intervention increased daily light intensity PA behaviour in these adolescent girls but did not change moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). These findings suggest that a school-based brisk walking intervention may be feasible and can change PA behaviour in the short term, but it is possible that the self-selected walking speeds determined by a peer-leader may not be sufficient to reach MVPA in this age group. Further research is needed to evaluate the potential of school-based brisk walking to contribute to MVPA in adolescent girls. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02871830 . Registered on 16 August 2016).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Girls Active is a physical activity programme, delivered in UK secondary schools, with the aim of increasing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in girls aged 11-14 years. This study presents the process evaluation as part of a 14-month cluster randomised controlled trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the Girls Active programme and which showed no difference in the primary outcome (MVPA at 14 months) between intervention and control arms. METHODS:Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from intervention schools over the course of the 14 month trial. Feedback forms and attendance records were completed at the end of all teacher and peer leader training and review days. At 7- and 14-months, semi-structured interviews were conducted with the lead Girls Active teacher in all intervention schools (n = 10) and staff from the intervention provider (n = 4) and hub school (n = 1). At 14 months, separate focus groups with peer leaders (n = 8 schools), girls who participated in the evaluation component of the trial (n = 8 schools), and a sample of boys (n = 6 schools) were conducted. All participants in the intervention schools were asked to complete an exit survey at 14 months. Teachers (intervention and control) completed a school environment questionnaire at baseline, 7- and 14-months. RESULTS:The Girls Active programme, i.e., the training and resources, appeared to be well received by teachers and pupils. Factors that may have contributed to the lack of effectiveness include: some initial uncertainty by teachers as to what to do following the initial training, a predominant focus on support activities (e.g., gathering opinions) rather than actual physical activity provision, and school-level constraints that impeded implementation. CONCLUSIONS:Girls Active and what it was trying to achieve was valued by schools. The programme could be improved by providing greater guidance to teachers throughout, the setting of timelines, and providing formal training to peer leaders. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ISRCTN, ISRCTN10688342 . Registered 12 January 2015.
Project description:Background:Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in schools is promoted by development agencies as a modality to improve school attendance by reducing illness. Despite biological plausibility, the few rigorous studies that have assessed the effect of WASH in schools (WinS) interventions on pupil health and school attendance have reported mixed impacts. We evaluated the impact of the Laos Basic Education, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programme - a comprehensive WinS project implemented by UNICEF Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) in 492 primary schools nationwide between 2013 and 2017 - on pupil education and health. Methods:From 2014-2017, we conducted a cluster-randomized trial among 100 randomly selected primary schools lacking functional WASH facilities in Saravane Province, Lao PDR. Schools were randomly assigned to either the intervention (n?=?50) or comparison (n?=?50) arm. Intervention schools received a school water supply, sanitation facilities, handwashing facilities, drinking water filters, and behavior change education and promotion. Comparison schools received the intervention after research activities ended. At unannounced visits every six to eight weeks, enumerators recorded pupils' roll-call absence, enrollment, attrition, progression to the next grade, and reported illness (diarrhea, respiratory infection, conjunctivitis), and conducted structured observations to measure intervention fidelity and adherence. Stool samples were collected annually prior to de-worming and analyzed for soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infection. In addition to our primary intention-to-treat analysis, we conducted secondary analyses to quantify the role of intervention fidelity and adherence on project impacts. Results:We found no impact of the WinS intervention on any primary (pupil absence) or secondary (enrollment, dropout, grade progression, diarrhea, respiratory infection, conjunctivitis, STH infection) impacts. Even among schools with the highest levels of fidelity and adherence, impact of the intervention on absence and health was minimal. Conclusions:While WinS may create an important enabling environment, WinS interventions alone and as currently delivered may not be sufficient to independently impact pupil education and health. Our results are consistent with other recent evaluations of WinS projects showing limited or mixed effects of WinS.
Project description:Participation in classroom physical activity (PA) may improve time-on-task (TOT); however, the influence of sustained moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) on TOT is unknown. PURPOSE:To explore the influence of classroom PA delivered with academic lessons on TOT, determine if the relationship between classroom PA and TOT differs by age, sex, race/ethnicity, weight or baseline fitness, and identify the influence of MVPA on TOT when controlling for demographic variables. METHODS:Teachers in intervention schools were asked to deliver two 10-min PA lessons per day, 5 d·wk. PA was observed in both intervention and control schools to determine the amount and intensity of PA. Time-on-task was observed before and immediately after PA. Anthropometrics and fitness were assessed at baseline and end of the school year for 3 yr. Multilevel modeling was used to estimate overall group difference, change over the study, and group difference in change while accounting for covariates. RESULTS:Students who participated in PA lessons engaged in significantly more MVPA than those in the control schools in all 3 yr (all P < 0.001). There was a significant linear increase in the percent of TOT before PA lessons for both control and intervention groups over the 3-yr period (P < 0.001), with no group difference. The intervention group spent significantly more TOT (P = 0.01) after PA than the control group. The percent of time spent in MVPA was significantly associated with the percent of TOT (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS:Results indicate that children who received PA lessons participated in significantly more MVPA than those who did not and that PA was significantly associated with more TOT. These findings provide support for classroom PA as a means of increasing TOT in elementary age children.
Project description:Schools are common sites for obesity prevention interventions. Although many theories suggest that the school context influences weight status, there has been little empirical research. The objective of this study was to explore whether features of the school context were consistently and meaningfully associated with pupil weight status (overweight or obese). Exploratory factor analysis of routinely collected data on 319 primary schools in Devon, England, was used to identify possible school-based contextual factors. Repeated cross-sectional multilevel analysis of five years (2006/07-2010/11) of data from the National Child Measurement Programme was then used to test for consistent and meaningful associations. Four school-based contextual factors were derived which ranked schools according to deprivation, location, resource and prioritisation of physical activity. None of which were meaningfully and consistently associated with pupil weight status, across the five years. The lack of consistent associations between the factors and pupil weight status suggests that the school context is not inherently obesogenic. In contrast, incorporating findings from education research indicates that schools may be equalising weight status, and obesity prevention research, policy and practice might need to address what is happening outside schools and particularly during the school holidays.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of the Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP) compared with education as normal (EAN) in reducing self-reported heavy episodic drinking (HED) in adolescents. DESIGN:This is a cost-effectiveness analysis from a public sector perspective conducted as part of a cluster randomised trial. SETTING:This study was conducted in 105 high schools in Northern Ireland and in Scotland. PARTICIPANTS:Students in school year 8/S1 (aged 11-12) at baseline were included in the study. INTERVENTIONS:This is a classroom-based alcohol education curricula, combined with a brief alcohol intervention for parents/carers. OUTCOME MEASURES:The outcome of this study is the cost per young person experiencing HED avoided due to STAMPP at 33 months from baseline. RESULTS:The total cost of STAMPP was £85 900, equivalent to £818 per school and £15 per pupil. Due to very low uptake of the parental component, we calculated costs of £692 per school and £13 per pupil without this element. Costs per pupil were reduced further to £426 per school and £8 per pupil when it was assumed there were no additional costs of classroom delivery if STAMPP was delivered as part of activities such as personal, social, health and economic education. STAMPP was associated with a significantly greater proportion of pupils experiencing a heavy drinking episode avoided (0.08/8%) and slightly lower public sector costs (mean difference -£17.19). At a notional willingness-to-pay threshold of £15 (reflecting the cost of STAMPP), the probability of STAMPP being cost-effective was 56%. This level of uncertainty reflected the substantial variability in the cost differences between groups. CONCLUSIONS:STAMPP was relatively low cost and reduced HED. STAMPP was not associated with any clear public sector cost savings, but neither did it increase them or lead to any cost-shifting within the public sector categories. Further research is required to establish if the cost-effectiveness of STAMPP is sustained in the long term. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:ISRCTN47028486; Results.