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Effect and process evaluation of a kindergarten-based, family-involved cluster randomised controlled trial in six European countries on four- to six-year-old children's steps per day: the ToyBox-study

De Craemer, Marieke, Verloigne, Maïté, De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse, Androutsos, Odysseas, Iotova, Violeta, Moreno, Luis, Koletzko, Berthold, Socha, Piotr, Manios, Yannis, Cardon, Greet, ToyBox-study group and Swinburn, Boyd 2017, Effect and process evaluation of a kindergarten-based, family-involved cluster randomised controlled trial in six European countries on four- to six-year-old children's steps per day: the ToyBox-study, International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 1-16, doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0574-z.

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Title Effect and process evaluation of a kindergarten-based, family-involved cluster randomised controlled trial in six European countries on four- to six-year-old children's steps per day: the ToyBox-study
Author(s) De Craemer, Marieke
Verloigne, Maïté
De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse
Androutsos, Odysseas
Iotova, Violeta
Moreno, Luis
Koletzko, Berthold
Socha, Piotr
Manios, Yannis
Cardon, Greet
ToyBox-study group
Swinburn, Boyd
Journal name International journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
Volume number 14
Issue number 1
Start page 1
End page 16
Total pages 16
Publisher BioMed Central
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-08-29
ISSN 1479-5868
1479-5868
Keyword(s) Effect evaluation
Europe
Pedometer
Preschool
Process evaluation
RCT
Step counts
ToyBox
Child
Child Behavior
Child, Preschool
Energy Metabolism
European Continental Ancestry Group
Evidence-Based Medicine
Exercise
Female
Follow-Up Studies
Health Behavior
Health Education
Humans
Male
Parents
Pediatric Obesity
Program Evaluation
School Teachers
Surveys and Questionnaires
ToyBox-study group
Summary BACKGROUND: The ToyBox-intervention is a theory- and evidence-based intervention delivered in kindergartens to improve four- to six-year-old children's energy balance-related behaviours and prevent obesity. The current study aimed to (1) examine the effect of the ToyBox-intervention on increasing European four- to six-year-old children' steps per day, and (2) examine if a higher process evaluation score from teachers and parents was related to a more favourable effect on steps per day.

METHODS: A sample of 2438 four- to six-year-old children (51.9% boys, mean age 4.75 ± 0.43 years) from 6 European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain) wore a motion sensor (pedometer or accelerometer) for a minimum of two weekdays and one weekend day both at baseline and follow-up to objectively measure their steps per day. Kindergarten teachers implemented the physical activity component of the ToyBox-intervention for 6 weeks in total, with a focus on (1) environmental changes in the classroom, (2) the child performing the actual behaviour and (3) classroom activities. Children's parents received newsletters, tip cards and posters. To assess intervention effects, multilevel repeated measures analyses were conducted for the total sample and the six intervention countries separately. In addition, process evaluation questionnaires were used to calculate a total process evaluation score (with implementation and satisfaction as a part of the overall score) for teachers and parents which was then linked with the physical activity outcomes.

RESULTS: No significant intervention effects on four- to six-year-old children' steps per weekday, steps per weekend day and steps per average day were found, both in the total sample and in the country-specific samples (all p > 0.05). In general, the intervention effects on steps per day were least favourable in four- to six-year-old children with a low teachers process evaluation score and most favourable in four- to six-year-old children with a high teachers process evaluation score. No differences in intervention effects were found for a low, medium or high parents' process evaluation score.

CONCLUSION: The physical activity component of the ToyBox-intervention had no overall effect on four- to six-year-old children' steps per day. However, the process evaluation scores showed that kindergarten teachers that implemented the physical activity component of the ToyBox-intervention as planned and were satisfied with the physical activity component led to favourable effects on children's steps per day. Strategies to motivate, actively involve and engage the kindergarten teachers and parents/caregivers are needed to induce larger effects.
Language eng
DOI 10.1186/s12966-017-0574-z
Field of Research 11 Medical And Health Sciences
13 Education
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2017, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30109992

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.