Goactive Frequently Asked Questions
- What does GoActive stand for?
- Who designed GoActive?
- What are the aims of GoActive?
- How will we know if GoActive is effective?
- What will we measure?
- What will happen with the results of the study?
- What happens if GoActive is found to be effective?
- Can I take part in GoActive?
- When will the results be ready?
GoActive stands for Get Others Active.
GoActive was designed by a research team mostly based at the University of Cambridge (MRC Epidemiology Unit and Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR ) working closely with adolescents and teachers to gain insight as what would work with students this age and how best to implement the study to maximise its potential in an school environment, and to ensure the programme was accessible for every student.
GoActive aims to increase physical activity through increased peer support, self-efficacy, self-esteem and friendship quality, and is implemented using a tiered-leadership system. The GoActive programme includes the whole of Year, and tutor groups choose two weekly activities each; Mentors (older adolescents in the school) and weekly Peer-Leaders (two per class) encourage students try these. Classes have access to simple, ready-to-use instructions, and a video to support their participation in each activity. Students gain points for trying new activities; points are entered into a between-class competition. GoActive will run for two terms: weekly facilitation support from a council-funded health trainer will be offered in the Spring term, with more distant support in the Summer term.
The GoActive programme has already been tested in four pilot schools, and has shown to be effective in getting students in Year 9 to be more active. This is great, but four schools aren’t enough for us to be sure that this will work for everyone. We need to evaluate the programme in more schools (16 to be precise) to find out if it works for others as well.
We plan to do this by randomly selecting half of the schools to run the GoActive programme and for half to carry on as normal – this is known as a Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial. We will measure students in all schools at four time points and then compare the results between the schools.
All Year 9 students in all schools will be asked to complete the following measurements:
- Questionnaire – We will ask students to fill out a questionnaire about themselves, their family and friends, their feelings, and their activity patterns.
- Physical measures – We will use scales and tapes to measure height, weight, waist circumference. All of the measurements taken will be kept private.
- Activity monitor – We will fit students with an activity monitor to wear continuously for seven days. It measures how much we move around during the day, and gives us a really accurate picture of physical activity levels.
- Focus groups – During and after the programme we will talk to participants, adolescent mentors and teachers in discussion groups, interviews and via an additional feedback questionnaire to see what they thought about the programme. We will try to find out how and why the programme did or did not work and how this may have varied by the different groups taking part.
Results of this study will be reported in scientific journals and presented at conferences. All information about participants will be reported with names removed and combined across multiple students so no individual can be identified from any results presented. We will test whether any physical activity changes we see could lead to longer and better quality of life if they last into adulthood, and if so what these changes would cost, and what the health care cost savings might be. This will be fed back to the government and other agencies to consider in future planning.
Workshops will be held with key stakeholders throughout the project to ensure the dissemination of results for optimal public health impact. The evaluation of GoActive will provide evidence to influence government policy in the UK. As such, the existing study website will be further developed to more efficiently distribute intervention materials, study information and future requests. In addition to the potential for large-scale public health impact, this research has unprecedented academic significance. GoActive will be one of the first to so thoroughly explore efficacy and cost-effectiveness (e.g. conducting mixed-methods analyses, comprehensively examining mechanisms, including long-term follow-up), and one of the largest trials of a school-based intervention to increase physical activity in adolescence.
All of our GoActive participants were recruited from our 16 participating schools in Year 9 and the recruitment phase for GoActive is now over, but thank you for your interest.
All of the data collected throughout the study is now being analysed and the end of trial results will likely be published in March 2019.