Preventing alcohol misuse in young people: an exploratory cluster randomised controlled trial of the Kids, Adults Together (KAT) programme

Segrott, J., Rothwell, H., Hewitt, G., Playle, R., Huang, C., Murphy, S., Moore, L. , Hickman, M. and Reed, H. (2015) Preventing alcohol misuse in young people: an exploratory cluster randomised controlled trial of the Kids, Adults Together (KAT) programme. Public Health Research, 3(15), pp. 1-188. (doi:10.3310/phr03150) (PMID:26632630)

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Background Involvement of parents/carers may increase the effectiveness of primary school-based alcohol-misuse prevention projects. However, few interventions have been designed for pre-adolescent children, or specifically involve parents/carers. The Kids, Adults Together (KAT) programme in primary schools aimed to reduce alcohol misuse through such an approach. Objective: To determine the value and feasibility of conducting an effectiveness trial of KAT. Design: Parallel-group cluster randomised exploratory trial with an embedded process evaluation. Schools were the unit of randomisation. Setting: Primary schools (n = 9) in south Wales, UK. Participants: Pupils in Year 5/6 (aged 9–11 years) and their parents/carers; school staff. Intervention: The Kids, Adults Together programme consisted of (1) classwork addressing the effects of alcohol; (2) a family event for children and parents/carers; and (3) a ‘goody bag’ containing fun items, including a digital versatile disc (DVD) for families to watch together. The intervention comprised KAT plus existing alcohol-related activities and lessons. Control-group schools continued with existing alcohol-related lessons and activities. Main outcome measures: Key outcomes related to the progression criteria for a potential future effectiveness trial. These included the acceptability, participation equity, feasibility and implementation of KAT; the recruitment and retention of research participants; and the acceptability and feasibility of research processes, including data collection methods and outcome measures. Results: Nine schools (free school meal entitlement ranging from 1% to 37.2%) participated. Two of five intervention schools withdrew but all four control schools were retained, and these seven schools facilitated all research data collections. Programme acceptability and participation rates were high in all three intervention schools (parent/carer participation rates ranged from 45.1% to 65.7%), although implementation quality varied. At baseline, approximately 75% of eligible children (n = 418) provided data, of whom 257 also provided data at follow-up. Only 27 parents/carers (estimated response rate 6.5%) completed interviews. Most children were willing to complete questionnaires but measures were not appropriate for this age group. Measures of alcohol consumption produced inconsistent responses. Intermediate outcomes on family communication showed no evidence of intervention effectiveness. Conclusions: In the three schools that received the KAT intervention, it was found to be acceptable to schools and pupils and there were good levels of participation from parents/carers from across a range of socioeconomic groups. However, two intervention schools withdrew from the trial. Findings from intermediate outcomes on family communication did not support programme theory. In addition, the study highlighted challenges in identifying suitable outcome measures for children aged 9–11 years and the feasibility of long-term follow-up via secondary schools.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moore, Professor Laurence
Authors: Segrott, J., Rothwell, H., Hewitt, G., Playle, R., Huang, C., Murphy, S., Moore, L., Hickman, M., and Reed, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Public Health Research
Publisher:NIHR Journals Library
ISSN (Online):2050-439X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 The Authors
First Published:First published in Public Health Research 3(15):1-188
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727661SPHSU Core Renewal: Complexity in Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLaurence MooreMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/14IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU