Community Health Sciences; Department of Medicine; Internal Medicine
Background: The school environment plays an essential role in promoting health education and physical activity for children and adolescence, and they are more likely to adapt it into their adulthood. School health education program has been endorsed and emphasized by the World Health Organization has not been implemented in true spirit in Pakistan yet. We aim to test feasibility of threefold health education program in children and its potential efficacy on physical activity and diet and cardiometabolic risk factors by including BP, BMI, and waist circumference.
Methods: It is a parallel-group feasibility intervention trial. It is being conducted in two schools from lower to middle-income areas, at different locations but having the same school curriculum under the Aga Khan Education Service, Pakistan (AKESP). All children aged 9-11 years enrolled from the schools mentioned above were included. Children with any physical disability were excluded. One school received threefold intervention (focused on children, parents, and teachers) of school health education program in Pakistan (SHEPP) while the other school continued routine activity. Intervention of SHEPP is directed towards educating children, parents, and teachers about healthy behaviors. Children will receive interactive educational sessions and specially designed physical activity sessions. A 3-h health education session focusing on same healthy behaviors as for children will be conducted for both parents and teachers. Primary outcome is feasibility of SHEPP in terms of recruitment, retention, and treatment fidelity. Secondary outcomes are physical activity levels, dietary intake (of fruits, vegetable), and cardiometabolic risk factors (blood pressure, BMI, and waist circumference (WC)). The total number of children recruited were 982 (82.5 %); 505 from school A and 477 from school B and 496 (50.5) were boys.
Conclusion: SHEPP is a unique health education program for children as it focuses on children while involving the parents and teachers in the behavior change process. If found feasible and demonstrating potential efficacy on physical activity, dietary behaviors, and cardiometabolic parameters, we will be able to replicate this on a larger scale in public sector schools also.
Pilot and Feasibility Studies
(2020). School health education program in Pakistan (SHEPP)-A threefold health education feasibility trial in schoolchildren from a lower-middle-income country. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 6, 80.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_med_med/624
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