Development of an after-school programme to increase physical activity and dance skills in 11-12 year old girls

Lead Research Organisation: University of Bristol
Department Name: Sch of App Community and Health Studies

Abstract

Physical activity has many health benefits and aids the prevention of a number of diseases. Many adolescent girls do not engage in recommend amounts of physical activity. By the start of secondary school many girls are disengaged from activity because they perceive themselves as not athletic. Dance is enjoyed by the majority of adolescent girls and engaging girls in dance could be an effective means of increasing physical activity. The proposed research will focus on the factors that influence girls? participation in an after-school dance class and how the dance classes can build the girls interest in dance and dance ability so that when the classes end the girls are able to take part in dance without instruction.

The study will be organised in two parts. In the first part we will conduct extensive focus groups (small group discussions) and interviews with 11-12 year old girls, parents, school teachers and dance teachers to identify successful methods of recruiting girls into after-school dance programs. We will also focus on how to make the sessions enjoyable and how to build the girls ability and desire to engage in dance without adult instruction. We will then pilot these approaches to ensure that all materials are appropriate.

In the second part of the study we will conduct a study in six schools, 3 of which will receive the dance program and 3 of which will not. There will be 30 girls 11-12 year old (Year 7) girls per school. Dance classes will be provided 3 times per week for 10 weeks directly after-school. Sessions will focus on obtaining physical activity in an enjoyable, supportive environment that increases the girls? perceived ability to engage in dance. We will ask all participants to wear accelerometers, which are small hip-worn devices that accurately measure physical activity in children and complete some questionnaires about their perceived ability to engage in dance. All measures will be obtained from the girls before the study starts, after the 8-week program and to assess long-term effect 3-months later. We will also obtain information about the costs of the program and the girls, teachers and parent?s responses to the sessions.

At the end of the study the data provided will tell us whether dance can change girls? physical activity and if that change is likely to be sustained. The study will also tell us whether a larger evaluation is needed.

Technical Summary

Objective: To examine how an 10-week after-school dance program can increase 11-12 year olds girl?s habitual physical activity levels and provide the girls with a desire and the skills to engage in dance once the initial contact sessions have ended. Research will be conducted in 2 phases.

Methodology: In phase one, we will conduct 9 focus groups with Year 7 girls to identify factors that would affect their attendance at an after-school dance program and how contact sessions could increase girls? ability to engage in dance without instructors. We will also conduct 24 interviews with the parents of 11-12 year old girls to examine how they could support the project. We will then conduct interviews with expert dance teachers on how to make the sessions as enjoyable as possible and strategies for longer-term dance participation. Draft recruitment materials and content will then be piloted in one school, participant responses obtained and content adjusted accordingly. A 4-week pilot study will then be conducted to assess the program content and if further refinement is necessary.

Phase 2 will be an exploratory trial in 6 schools, (3 intervention and 3 control). The intervention will be a 10-week dance program, that is provided free of charge, during the extended school day. The dance program will be provided for an hour, 3-times per week. Sessions will focus on obtaining MVPA in an enjoyable, supportive environment that increases the girls? intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy to engage in dance. Sessions will also focus on building dance related skills and personal capacity to engage in dance. We will recruit 30 girls per school (90 intervention and 90 control). Assessments will be made at baseline (time 0), immediately after the intervention (time 0+10 weeks), and 3-months after the intervention has ended (time 0+22 weeks). Accelerometer derived minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity activity will be the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes will include self-determination theory related questionnaires. Preliminary information on costs will also be obtained to facilitate future cost-effectiveness calculations.

How results will be used: The results will provide all of the information necessary to design an adequately powered cluster RCT to increase girls? short and long-term physical activity via dance including the school associated intra-class correlation for all outcomes. Once this study has been completed we will submit a further application for full-trial funding.
 
Description Member of UK Sed Behaviour expert panel
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
 
Description Membership of Chief Medical Officer's Physical Activity (Infographic group) Jago
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description NIHR - Public health Research Board
Amount £743,500 (GBP)
Funding ID 11/3050/01 
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2013 
End 08/2015
 
Description Public Health Research
Amount £299,000 (GBP)
Funding ID PHR 15-55-09 
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2017 
End 09/2018
 
Title Data from the Feasibility trial 
Description A project database of the the physical activity behaviors of 210 year 7 girls collected at baseline, end of the intervention and 3 months later has been created. The database also includes psychosocial data collection at each time point. 
Type Of Material Physiological assessment or outcome measure 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact None yet - data being prepared for publication 
 
Title 10 week and 20-week dance programme 
Description We developed a 10-week dance programme which was used in the intervention. At the end of the intervention we have changed this content and expanded to a 20-week intervention. Content is currently being refined. 
Type Preventative Intervention - Behavioural risk modification
Current Stage Of Development Refinement. Non-clinical
Year Development Stage Completed 2011
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Clinical Trial? Yes
Impact Nothing to report 
URL http://www.isrctn.com/ISRCTN52882523
 
Title 4 week dance programme 
Description We have used the formative work conducted during the grant to develop a 4-week after-school dance programme. We are currently piloting these sessions plans. The piloting will be used to refine the session plans and convert them into a longer, ten week programme by the end of year. 
Type Preventative Intervention - Behavioural risk modification
Current Stage Of Development Initial development
Year Development Stage Completed 2010
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Impact None 
 
Description Inaugural - Public lecture - Dec 2013 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Work provided suggestions for how families could help children to be more physically active

Schools enquired about engaging in our future research project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
 
Description International Conference Physical Activity & Public Health, Rio de Janiero, Brazil, April 2014 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other academic audiences (collaborators, peers etc.)
Results and Impact Presentation of economic modelling shared with researchers across the globe

Models shared with colleagues
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014