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Exploratory trial of a school-based alcohol prevention intervention with a family component: Implications for implementation

Segrott, Jeremy; Rothwell, Heather; Pignatelli, Ilaria; Playle, Rebecca; Hewitt, Gillian; Huang, Chao; Murphy, Simon; Hickman, Matthew; Reed, Hayley; Moore, Laurence

Authors

Jeremy Segrott

Heather Rothwell

Ilaria Pignatelli

Rebecca Playle

Gillian Hewitt

Simon Murphy

Matthew Hickman

Hayley Reed

Laurence Moore



Abstract

Purpose
Involvement of parents/carers may increase effectiveness of primary school-based alcohol-misuse prevention projects through strengthening family-based protective factors, but rates of parental engagement are typically low. This paper reports findings from an exploratory trial of a school-based prevention intervention – Kids, Adults Together (KAT), based on the Social Development Model, which aimed to promote pro-social family communication in order to prevent alcohol misuse, and incorporated strategies to engage parents/carers. The purpose of this paper is to assess the feasibility and value of conducting an effectiveness trial of KAT.

Design/methodology/approach
The study was a parallel-group cluster randomised exploratory trial with an embedded process evaluation. The study took place in south Wales, UK, and involved nine primary schools, 367 pupils in Years 5/6 (aged 9-11 years) and their parents/carers and teachers. Questionnaires were completed by pupils at baseline and four month follow-up, and by parents at six month follow-up.

Findings
Overall KAT was delivered with good fidelity, but two of five intervention schools withdrew from the study without completing implementation. In total, 50 per cent of eligible parents participated in the intervention, and KAT had good acceptability among pupils, parents and teachers. However, a number of “progression to effectiveness trial” criteria were not met. Intermediate outcomes on family communication (hypothesised to prevent alcohol misuse) showed insufficient evidence of an intervention effect. Difficulties were encountered in identifying age appropriate outcome measures for primary school-age children, particularly in relation to family communication processes. The study was unable to find comprehensive methodological guidance on exploratory trials.

Research limitations/implications
It would not be appropriate to conduct an effectiveness trial as key progression criteria relating to intervention and trial feasibility were not met. There is a need for new measures of family communication which are suitable for primary school-age children, and more guidance on the design and conduct of exploratory/feasibility trials.

Originality/value
KAT achieved high rates of parental involvement, and its theoretical framework and processes could be adapted by other interventions which experience difficulties with recruitment of parents/carers.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 6, 2016
Journal Health Education
Print ISSN 0965-4283
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 116
Issue 4
Pages 410-431
APA6 Citation Segrott, J., Rothwell, H., Pignatelli, I., Playle, R., Hewitt, G., Huang, C., …Moore, L. (2016). Exploratory trial of a school-based alcohol prevention intervention with a family component: Implications for implementation. Health Education, 116(4), 410-431. https://doi.org/10.1108/he-01-2015-0005
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/he-01-2015-0005
Keywords Prevention; Family; Schools; Alcohol; Children; Evaluation of interventions
Publisher URL https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/HE-01-2015-0005/full/html

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Copyright Statement
© Segrott, Jeremy; Rothwell, Heather; Pignatelli, Ilaria; Playle, Rebecca; Hewitt, Gillian; Huang, Chao; Murphy, Simon; Hickman, Matthew; Reed, Hayley; Moore, Laurence. Published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 3.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/3.0/legalcode



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