Whole-school programme can have a small effect on reducing bullying in secondary schools
An anti-bullying intervention trialled at 20 UK secondary schools resulted in a reduction in bullying incidents at school. The ‘Learning Together’ initiative was funded by the NIHR and designed to modify the school environment and provide social and emotional support.
The trial took place over three years and involved around 3,000 pupils who were 11 to 12 years old at the start of the study. A control group of schools which did not receive the intervention was monitored for comparis...
A workplace voucher reward scheme failed to boost physical activity
Staff enrolled on a workplace reward scheme to encourage them to become more physically active took fewer steps per day than their colleagues in the control group after six months.
Employees at two public sector organisations in Northern Ireland took part in the Physical Activity Loyalty scheme, which worked in a similar way to a high street loyalty card. Their activity levels during the workday were monitored using key fobs and remote sensors. The participants were rewarded for physical activi...
A lower drink-drive limit in Scotland is not linked to reduced road traffic accidents as expected
Lowering the drink-drive blood alcohol limit in Scotland was not followed by reduced road traffic accidents, perhaps because of a lack of enforcement. While there was a 0.7% reduction in alcohol bought in pubs and restaurants after the new legislation (on-trade sales), there was no significant change in sales of alcohol from shops or supermarkets (off-trade), where most purchases are made.
Drink-drive accidents account for around 13% of all road deaths in Britain. In an attempt to improve this ...
Mixed evidence shows some impact of mass media campaigns promoting tobacco control, physical activity and sexual health
Mass media campaigns have demonstrated effectiveness for promoting tobacco control, physical activity and sexual health. Most of the evidence relates to improving awareness of health risks or the availability of services. However, for those aimed at the risks associated with sedentary lifestyles, smoking or sexual behaviours, there are signs that the campaigns also achieved positive changes to the target behaviour.
This large review, funded by NIHR, identified 36 systematic reviews and individu...
London 2012 Olympics regeneration had minimal impact on physical and mental health
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Gameshad only small and transient effects on physical activity, mental health and well-being for those living nearby. Although access to sporting facilities and green space improved, local adolescents and their parents did not receive any sustained positive effect on physical activity, mental health or well-being.
This NIHR-funded study assessed the impact of a multicomponent urban regeneration programme linked to the Olympics. It looked at changes in heal...
A school-based lifestyle intervention didn’t help children avoid unhealthy weight gain
The Healthy Lifestyle Programme delivered to 9-10-year-old school children did not reduce their weight over the course of two years. Around a third remained overweight or obese, the same as in schools that followed the standard syllabus.
This trial, funded by the NIHR, assigned schools across Devon to follow a lifestyle programme in Year five. The comprehensive curriculum included drama and activity workshops, personal goal setting and parental involvement.
Children made better food choices, b...
Parental training improves a child’s disruptive behaviours regardless of socio-economic disadvantage or ethnicity
Children from low-income families, or with an unemployed or single parent, benefitted as much as did economically advantaged groups. The Incredible Years programme worked better for children with more severe behaviour problems or a parent with depression.
This NIHR-funded review pooled individual-level data for pre-school and primary aged children with persistent disruptive behaviours. The 14 European trials, including eight studies in the UK, took place in diverse settings including schools, c...
Harm reduction approaches predicted to reduce rates of new hepatitis C infection for people who inject drugs
A combination of providing clean needles and syringes and offering safer oral therapy, such as methadone, reduced the predicted risk of becoming infected with hepatitis C virus by 71%. Providing both services to people who inject drugs was likely to be cost-effective and has the potential to be cost-saving in some parts of the UK, depending on the size of the local population of people who inject drugs and underlying rates of infection.
Current services are estimated to save up to £54 mil...
Intervention delivered in Northern Irish and Scottish schools reduces binge drinking
An alcohol misuse prevention programme reduced the number of 12 to 14-year-old school pupils reporting “binge” drinking 33 months after the course. The difference was 9% compared with usual education (26% vs 17%).
The NIHR-funded Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP) was tested in a large trial in 105 schools in Northern Ireland and Scotland. It involved around 14 lessons spread over two years and a presentation evening with parents to reinforce the school lesso...