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Development and feasibility cluster randomised controlled trial of a Peer-Led physical Activity iNtervention for Adolescent girls (PLAN-A)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health Research
DateAccepted/In press - 9 May 2018


Physical activity (PA) is associated with positive cardio-metabolic, psychological and social outcomes during adolescence. However the majority of adolescent girls are insufficiently active to confer such benefits. As the influence of peers on PA increases during adolescence, interventions which harness the power of peers present an un-tested opportunity. The proposed research is the development and two-arm cluster-randomised controlled feasibility trial of a school-based peer-led intervention to increase PA among 12-13 year old girls. The study will inform the design of a definitive trial. The intervention builds on a successful adolescent peer-led smoking cessation intervention (ASSIST), based on Diffusion of Innovations Theory. Phase 1 will comprise public involvement to adapt the intervention to target PA and pilot testing in one school. Formative and evaluative qualitative research comprising focus groups and interviews with participants and training deliverers will address how to adapt the peer-led intervention model to target PA promotion among girls aged 12-13. Phase 2 comprises a two-arm cluster-randomised controlled feasibility trial of the peer-led intervention conducted in six schools identified as above the local median for deprivation (Pupil Premium). Participants will be entire Yr 8 female cohorts (approximate N=660). Two control schools will receive no intervention. In the four intervention schools, at least 15% of Yr 8 girls, nominated by their peers, will be trained as peer-supporters in a two-day, off-site interactive education programme. Peer-supporters will then diffuse messages about PA to their peers through informal conversations for 10 weeks, supported by a mid-point training day. Peer-supporter training will be based on Self-Determination Theory and will be delivered by individuals educated in PA/public health and experienced in working with young people (Diffusion of Innovation will remain the theory which informs the overall intervention). The feasibility trial will answer two questions: 1) Is it feasible to conduct a cluster RCT evaluation to investigate the effectiveness of the intervention? 2) Does the intervention show evidence of promise to increase the moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) of 12-13 year old girls? The outcome variables will be the acceptability of the peer-supporter training, recruitment, retention and data provision rates. Data will be collected to allow the intervention costs to be estimated and to examine the feasibility and appropriateness of the methods that would be needed to calculated cost-effectiveness alongside a definitive trial. The feasibility of collecting the data necessary to link study data to pupils' academic achievement and health records will also be tested to allow the examination of broader long-term intervention effects in a definitive trial. PA and psychosocial variables will be assessed at baseline (T0), immediately post-intervention (T1) and 12 months post-baseline (T2) and the adjusted between-groups difference in accelerometer-determined minutes of MVPA per day at T1 and T2 will be estimated with a focus on 95% CIs. A process evaluation will be conducted to assess delivery, implementation, mechanisms of impact and context using qualitative and quantitative approaches among peer-supporters, non-peer supporter pupils, parents, training deliverers and school contacts. Intervention costs will be funded by Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire Councils.

    Structured keywords

  • BRTC
  • DECIPHer



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