To develop a core outcome set (COS) for school-based physical activity interventions.
Increasing children’s physical activity in educational settings is a global goal and has been associated with improved musculoskeletal and cardiorespiratory fitness. However, there is still a lack of consensus about wider health benefits despite a multitude of previous studies of school-based physical activity interventions (e.g., The Daily Mile™, Marathon Kids, Classroom Movement Breaks). Different studies measure different outcomes, and it is therefore difficult to evaluate interventions to identify which may be the most beneficial to children’s health and wellbeing.
A core outcome set, agreed by stakeholders using consensus methods, would define a minimum checklist of standardised outcomes that should be measured in these studies.
Design and methods
We are using a four-stage process to develop the COS. First, we conducted a systematic review of national and international studies that have examined the impact of school-based physical activity intervention on children’s health. Second, we have compiled a list of outcomes from the relevant studies identified from the systematic reviews and from a public involvement and engagement (PI&E) workshop. Third, we used a modified-Delphi technique consisting of two survey rounds, and recruited health professionals, researchers, educators, and parents who rated and re-rated the importance of each outcome. Finally, we are conducting two workshops, one with children to include their perspectives of what they think is important about physical activity, and a consensus meeting with the stakeholders to discuss the results of the surveys and agree and finalise the core outcome set.
Professional and public representatives have been involved through a PI&E workshop which includes representatives from The Daily Mile Research Advisory Group, Sport England, London Marathon and London Sport, and academic researchers. Through our research networks, contacts, and social media, we recruited key stakeholder groups who completed each survey round and who will agree the final COS.
The final core outcome set will be shared with health professionals, researchers and academics through conference presentations, public health meetings, and through social media channels. We aim to publish our COS in a peer-reviewed journal and as a technical operating manual for relevant audiences.
Ram B, Venkatraman T, and Saxena S (2019). A systematic review of primary school-based physical activity interventions to determine a core outcome set of child health outcomes and measurement tools. PROSPERO: International prospective register of systematic reviews CRD42019146621.
Foley KA, Venkatraman T, Ram B, et al. Protocol for developing a core outcome set for evaluating school-based physical activity interventions in primary schools. 2019. BMJ Open. 9 (12).