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Alle Leerlingen Actief! (ALA), developed by the Dutch Institute for Sport and Physical Activity (NISB), is a school-based intervention to motivate inactive students to become physically active, with motivational interviewing combined with efforts to create a supportive school environment as most important features. Up till now, most school-based interventions focus on entire classes or specific age groups. ALA consists of a unique combination of motivational interviewing and an environmental approach. As such it targets high-risk individuals rather than groups, as well as promoting the sport- and activity-friendliness of the school environment. The intervention consists of a series of motivational interviews between individual students of secondary schools and trained teachers. Based on the promising pilot results from 3 secondary schools, in which ALA’s effectiveness was preliminary assessed, NISB considers nationwide implementation of ALA. Therefore, sound evidence on its effectiveness as well as indications on the costs (in terms of time and funds invested) associated with the intervention is needed.

The research design to study the effectiveness of ALA is a randomized waiting-list-controlled design, with randomization at school level (i.e. intervention schools and control schools). Outcomes will be assessed in students, trained teachers and schools. The main utcomes that will be assessed among the students include: physical activity behaviour (i.e., number of days per week engaged in 60 minutes of at least moderate intensity physical activity) and the intrinsic motivation towards sports and physical activity. Outcomes that will be assessed among the teachers include: the frequency, duration and setting of the counselling sessions with the students and the students’ stage of change toward sports and physical activity as noted by the teacher in each counselling session. Outcomes that will be assessed at the school level include: the school policy on physical activity and sports, and the social and physical environment in and around school.

The outcomes of intervention schools will be compared with the outcomes of control schools using multilevel analyses. Questionnaires measuring these outcomes will be completed at the beginning, middle and end of the school year.

This project will be conducted by TNO Quality of Life in close collaboration with NISB, Maastricht University and The Hague University.

 

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