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A cluster-randomised controlled trial of the LifeLab education intervention to improve health literacy in adolescents

A cluster-randomised controlled trial of the LifeLab education intervention to improve health literacy in adolescents
A cluster-randomised controlled trial of the LifeLab education intervention to improve health literacy in adolescents
Adolescence offers a window of opportunity during which improvements in health behaviours could benefit long-term health, and enable preparation for parenthood—albeit a long way off, passing on good health prospects to future children. This study was carried out to evaluate whether an educational intervention, which engages adolescents in science, can improve their health literacy and behaviours. A cluster-randomised controlled trial of 38 secondary schools in England, UK was conducted. The intervention (LifeLab) drew on principles of education, psychology and public health to engage students with science for health literacy, focused on the message “Me, my health and my children’s health”. The programme comprised: • Professional development for teachers. • A 2–3 week module of work for 13- 14-year-olds. • A “hands-on” practical health science day visit to a dedicated facility in a university teaching hospital. Data were collected from 2929 adolescents (aged 13–14 years) at baseline and 2487 (84.9%) at 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome was change in theoretical health literacy from pre- to 12 months post- intervention. This study is registered (ISRCTN71951436) and the trial status is complete. Participation in the LifeLab educational intervention was associated with an increase in the students’ standardised total theoretical health literacy score (adjusted difference between groups = 0.27 SDs (95%CI = 0.12, 0.42)) at 12-month follow-up. There was an indication that intervention participants subsequently judged their own lifestyles more critically than controls, with fewer reporting their behaviours as healthy (53.4% vs. 59.5%; adjusted PRR = 0.94 [0.87, 1.01]). We conclude that experiencing LifeLab led to improved health literacy in adolescents and that they demonstrated a move towards a more critical judgement of health behaviour 12 months after the intervention. Further work is needed to examine whether this leads to sustained behaviour change, and whether other activities are needed to support this change
1932-6203
Woods-Townsend, Kathryn
af927fa3-30b6-47d9-8b4d-4d254b3a7aab
Hardy-Johnson, Polly
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Bagust, Lisa
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Barker, Mary
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Davey, Hannah
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Griffiths, Janice B
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Grace, Marcus
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Lawrence, Wendy
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Lovelock, Donna
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Hanson, Mark
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Godfrey, Keith
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Inskip, Hazel
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Woods-Townsend, Kathryn
af927fa3-30b6-47d9-8b4d-4d254b3a7aab
Hardy-Johnson, Polly
49276c2f-01a9-4488-9f30-dc359cf867e0
Bagust, Lisa
dcbb3d71-4848-4df3-8d0f-a0eae3999cca
Barker, Mary
374310ad-d308-44af-b6da-515bf5d2d6d2
Davey, Hannah
7835a8f9-0418-4849-beef-cc206dcb6fa6
Griffiths, Janice B
7484deee-7fe2-4c3b-8a86-d5c0956eba38
Grace, Marcus
bb019e62-4134-4f74-9e2c-d235a6f89b97
Lawrence, Wendy
e9babc0a-02c9-41df-a289-7b18f17bf7d8
Lovelock, Donna
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Hanson, Mark
1952fad1-abc7-4284-a0bc-a7eb31f70a3f
Godfrey, Keith
0931701e-fe2c-44b5-8f0d-ec5c7477a6fd
Inskip, Hazel
5fb4470a-9379-49b2-a533-9da8e61058b7

Woods-Townsend, Kathryn, Hardy-Johnson, Polly, Bagust, Lisa, Barker, Mary, Davey, Hannah, Griffiths, Janice B, Grace, Marcus, Lawrence, Wendy, Lovelock, Donna, Hanson, Mark, Godfrey, Keith and Inskip, Hazel (2021) A cluster-randomised controlled trial of the LifeLab education intervention to improve health literacy in adolescents. PLoS ONE, 16 (5 May), [e0250545]. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0250545).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Adolescence offers a window of opportunity during which improvements in health behaviours could benefit long-term health, and enable preparation for parenthood—albeit a long way off, passing on good health prospects to future children. This study was carried out to evaluate whether an educational intervention, which engages adolescents in science, can improve their health literacy and behaviours. A cluster-randomised controlled trial of 38 secondary schools in England, UK was conducted. The intervention (LifeLab) drew on principles of education, psychology and public health to engage students with science for health literacy, focused on the message “Me, my health and my children’s health”. The programme comprised: • Professional development for teachers. • A 2–3 week module of work for 13- 14-year-olds. • A “hands-on” practical health science day visit to a dedicated facility in a university teaching hospital. Data were collected from 2929 adolescents (aged 13–14 years) at baseline and 2487 (84.9%) at 12-month follow-up. The primary outcome was change in theoretical health literacy from pre- to 12 months post- intervention. This study is registered (ISRCTN71951436) and the trial status is complete. Participation in the LifeLab educational intervention was associated with an increase in the students’ standardised total theoretical health literacy score (adjusted difference between groups = 0.27 SDs (95%CI = 0.12, 0.42)) at 12-month follow-up. There was an indication that intervention participants subsequently judged their own lifestyles more critically than controls, with fewer reporting their behaviours as healthy (53.4% vs. 59.5%; adjusted PRR = 0.94 [0.87, 1.01]). We conclude that experiencing LifeLab led to improved health literacy in adolescents and that they demonstrated a move towards a more critical judgement of health behaviour 12 months after the intervention. Further work is needed to examine whether this leads to sustained behaviour change, and whether other activities are needed to support this change

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Accepted/In Press date: 7 April 2021
e-pub ahead of print date: 5 May 2021
Additional Information: Funding: This work was supported by the British Heart Foundation (https://www.bhf.org.uk/) (PG/ 14/33/30827 and the National Institute for Health Research through the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre (https://www.uhs.nhs. uk/ClinicalResearchinSouthampton/Research/ Facilities/NIHR-Southampton-Biomedical�Research-Centre/ NIHRSouthamptonBiomedicalResearchCentre. aspx). KMG is supported by the UK Medical Research Council (https://mrc.ukri.org/) (MC_UU_12011/4), the National Institute for Health Research (as an NIHR Senior Investigator (https://www.nihr.ac.uk/) (NF-SI-0515-10042) and the European Union’s Erasmus+ Capacity-Building ENeASEA Project and Seventh Framework Programme (https://ec.europa.eu/research/fp7/ index_en.cfm) (FP7/2007-2013), projects EarlyNutrition and ODIN under grant agreement numbers 289346 and 613977. MAH was supported by the British Heart Foundation and HMI and MAH are supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (733206, LifeCycle) (https://ec.europa.eu/ programmes/horizon2020/en/tags/horizon-2020- research-and-innovation-programme). HD and LB are supported by Wessex Heartbeat (https://www. heartbeat.co.uk/) and HMI and MB are supported by the UK Medical Research Council. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection, data analysis, data interpretation or writing of the report

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 448833
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/448833
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: 9020444e-05fe-47e6-8413-4c9c630a659e
ORCID for Kathryn Woods-Townsend: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-3376-6988
ORCID for Mary Barker: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2976-0217
ORCID for Marcus Grace: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1949-1765
ORCID for Wendy Lawrence: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1264-0438
ORCID for Mark Hanson: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6907-613X
ORCID for Keith Godfrey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4643-0618
ORCID for Hazel Inskip: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8897-1749

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 06 May 2021 16:32
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 02:50

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Contributors

Author: Polly Hardy-Johnson
Author: Lisa Bagust
Author: Mary Barker ORCID iD
Author: Hannah Davey
Author: Janice B Griffiths
Author: Marcus Grace ORCID iD
Author: Wendy Lawrence ORCID iD
Author: Donna Lovelock
Author: Mark Hanson ORCID iD
Author: Keith Godfrey ORCID iD
Author: Hazel Inskip ORCID iD

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