Children, parents, and pets exercising together (CPET) randomised controlled trial: study rationale, design, and methods

Yam, P.S. , Morrison, R., Penpraze, V., Westgarth, C., Ward, D.S., Mutrie, N., Hutchison, P., Young, D. and Reilly, J.J. (2012) Children, parents, and pets exercising together (CPET) randomised controlled trial: study rationale, design, and methods. BMC Public Health, 12, p. 208. (doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-208)

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Abstract

<p><b>Background:</b> Objectively measured physical activity is low in British children, and declines as childhood progresses. Observational studies suggest that dog-walking might be a useful approach to physical activity promotion in children and adults, but there are no published public health interventions based on dog-walking with children. The Children, Parents, and Pets Exercising Together Study aims to develop and evaluate a theory driven, generalisable, family-based, dog walking intervention for 9-11 year olds.</p> <p><b>Methods/design:</b> The Children, Parents, and Pets Exercising Together Study is an exploratory, assessor-blinded, randomised controlled trial as defined in the UK MRC Framework on the development and evaluation of complex interventions in public health. The trial will follow CONSORT guidance. Approximately 40 dog-owning families will be allocated randomly in a ratio of 1.5:1 to receive a simple behavioural intervention lasting for 10 weeks or to a 'waiting list' control group. The primary outcome is change in objectively measured child physical activity using Actigraph accelerometry. Secondary outcomes in the child, included in part to shape a future more definitive randomised controlled trial, are: total time spent sedentary and patterning of sedentary behaviour (Actigraph accelerometry); body composition and bone health from dual energy x-ray absorptiometry; body weight, height and BMI; and finally, health-related quality of life using the PedsQL. Secondary outcomes in parents and dogs are: changes in body weight; changes in Actigraph accelerometry measured physical activity and sedentary behaviour. Process evaluation will consist of assessment of simultaneous child, parent, and dog accelerometry data and brief interviews with participating families.</p> <p><b>Discussion</b> The Children, Parents, and Pets Exercising Together trial should be the first randomised controlled study to establish and evaluate an intervention aimed at dog-based physical activity promotion in families. It should advance our understanding of whether and how to use pet dogs to promote physical activity and/or to reduce sedentary behaviour in children and adults. The trial is intended to lead to a subsequent more definitive randomised controlled trial, and the work should inform future dog-based public health interventions such as secondary prevention interventions in children or adults.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hutchison, Mrs Pippa and Reilly, Prof John and Yam, Dr Philippa and Penpraze, Ms Victoria
Authors: Yam, P.S., Morrison, R., Penpraze, V., Westgarth, C., Ward, D.S., Mutrie, N., Hutchison, P., Young, D., and Reilly, J.J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:BMC Public Health
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2458
ISSN (Online):1471-2458
Published Online:19 March 2012
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMC Public Health 12:208
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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