Long term effect of a school based intervention to prevent chronic diseases in Tunisia, 2009-2015

Rim Ghammam, Jihen Maatoug, Nawel Zammit, Raoudha Kebaili, Lamia Boughammoura, Mustafa Al’Absi, Harry Lando, Hassen Ghannem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background & Objectives: We aimed to evaluate the long term effect of school based intervention to prevent non- communicable disease risk factors. Methods: It was a quasi experimental study conducted during the period of 2009-2015. We involved school children aged from 11 to 16 years old. For the assessment of the program’s effectiveness, subjects in both groups were examined at baseline, at the end of the 3-year intervention period and at the follow-up, one year after program’s cessation. Results: In the intervention group, the prevalence of school children who reported to be eating 5 fruits and vegetable sdaily increased significantly from 30.0% at pre-assessment to 33.2% at post-assessment, one year after (p=0.02, p=0.41 respectively). For the control group, this prevalence had significantly decreased from 40.2% at baseline to 35.0% at post-intervention, at the follow up, this proportion increased to 44.5%(p=0.001, p<10-3 respectively). Concerning smoking habits, we observed a decreasing trend in the intervention group from 5.7% at pre-assessment, to 4.8% at post-assessment and to 3.4% at the follow-up (p=0.19 and p=0.25 respectively). There was also a significant decrease in school children who did recommended physical activity in the same group. Conclusion: The present work showed that interventions promoting healthy lifestyles should be maintained. Developing countries should be encouraged and supported to design, conduct, and evaluate robust preventive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1137-1148
Number of pages12
JournalAfrican Health Sciences
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The three year intervention program was based on a project funded by United Health Group. This funding included resources for data collection, data entry and intervention program. The follow up was funded by the Research Unit SantéUR12SP28: Epidemiologic transition and prevention of chronic disease of the Ministry of Higher Education (Tunisia). It included resources for data collection and data entry.

Funding Information:
The three year intervention program was based on a project funded by United Health Group. This funding included resources for data collection, data entry and intervention program. The follow up was funded by the Research Unit Santé UR12SP28: Epidemiologic transition and prevention of chronic disease of the Ministry of Higher Education (Tunisia). It included resources for data collection and data entry.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Ghammam et al.

Keywords

  • Intervention
  • Lifestyle
  • Schools

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