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Gonzalez-Gil E.M.,University of Zaragoza | Mouratidou T.,University of Zaragoza | Cardon G.,Ghent University | Androutsos O.,Harokopio University | And 61 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

Reliable assessments of health-related behaviours are necessary for accurate evaluation on the efficiency of public health interventions. The aim of the current study was to examine the reliability of a self-administered primary caregivers questionnaire (PCQ) used in the ToyBox-intervention. The questionnaire consisted of six sections addressing sociodemographic and perinatal factors, water and beverages consumption, physical activity, snacking and sedentary behaviours. Parents/caregivers from six countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain) were asked to complete the questionnaire twice within a 2-week interval. A total of 93 questionnaires were collected. Test-retest reliability was assessed using intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC). Reliability of the six questionnaire sections was assessed. A stronger agreement was observed in the questions addressing sociodemographic and perinatal factors as opposed to questions addressing behaviours. Findings showed that 92% of the ToyBox PCQ had a moderate-to-excellent test-retest reliability (defined as ICC values from 0.41 to 1) and less than 8% poor test-retest reliability (ICC<0.40). Out of the total ICC values, 67% showed good-to-excellent reliability (ICC from 0.61 to 1). We conclude that the PCQ is a reliable tool to assess sociodemographic characteristics, perinatal factors and lifestyle behaviours of pre-school children and their families participating in the ToyBox-intervention. © 2014 World Obesity. Source

Mouratidou T.,University of Zaragoza | Miguel M.L.,University of Zaragoza | Androutsos O.,Harokopio University | Manios Y.,Harokopio University | And 63 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

The ToyBox-intervention is a kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention targeting multiple lifestyle behaviours in preschool children, their teachers and their families. This intervention was conducted in six European countries, namely Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain. The aim of this paper is to provide a descriptive overview of the harmonization and standardization procedures of the baseline and follow-up evaluation of the study (and substudies). Steps related to the study's operational, standardization and harmonization procedures as well as the impact and outcome evaluation assessment tools used are presented. Experiences from the project highlight the importance of safeguarding the measurement process to minimize data heterogeneity derived from potential measurement error and country-by-country differences. In addition, it was made clear that continuing quality control and support is an important component of such studies. For this reason, well-supported communication channels, such as regular email updates and teleconferences, and regular internal and external meetings to ensure smooth and accurate implementation were in place during the study. The ToyBox-intervention and its harmonized and standardized procedures can serve as a successful case study for future studies evaluating the efficacy of similar interventions. © 2014 World Obesity. Source

Manios Y.,Harokopio University | Androutsos O.,Harokopio University | Katsarou C.,Harokopio University | Iotova V.,Medical University-Varna | And 63 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

The development of the ToyBox-intervention was based on the outcomes of the preliminary phase of the ToyBox-study, aiming to identify young children's key behaviours and their determinants related to early childhood obesity. The ToyBox-intervention is a multi-component, kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention with a cluster-randomized design, focusing on the promotion of water consumption, healthy snacking, physical activity and the reduction/ breaking up of sedentary time in preschool children and their families. The intervention was implemented during the academic year 2012-2013 in six European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain. Standardized protocols, methods, tools and material were used in all countries for the implementation of the intervention, as well as for the process, impact, outcome evaluation and the assessment of its cost-effectiveness. A total sample of 7,056 preschool children and their parents/caregivers, stratified by socioeconomic level, provided data during baseline measurements and participated in the intervention. The results of the ToyBox-study are expected to provide a better insight on behaviours associated with early childhood obesity and their determinants and identify effective strategies for its prevention. The aim of the current paper is to describe the design of the ToyBox-intervention and present the characteristics of the study sample as assessed at baseline, prior to the implementation of the intervention. © 2014 World Obesity. Source

Duvinage K.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Ibrugger S.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Kreichauf S.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research | Wildgruber A.,State Institute of Early Childhood Research | And 64 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

Early childhood is an important period for adopting positive health-related behaviours. More than 95% of European preschool children attend kindergartens, making these settings ideal for the implementation of health promotion interventions. The ToyBox-intervention addressed preschool children, their parents/caregivers and teachers. The aim of the intervention was to improve four energy balance-related behaviours (i.e. healthy snacking, water consumption, physical activity and sedentary behaviour) by implementing a kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention in six European countries (Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Poland and Spain). The intervention material was developed following the intervention mapping protocol, taking into account local and cultural differences among the intervention countries. The present paper focuses on the development of the physical activity component of the intervention. Parental involvement was addressed by providing parents/caregivers with two newsletters, two tip cards and a poster. Teachers received a handbook with guidance on environmental changes in the classroom, 26 physical education sessions and suggestions for fun, interactive classroom activities aiming at total class participation to increase preschoolers' physical activity levels. The ToyBox-intervention material was distributed according to a standard time frame. Teachers received their material prior to the start of the intervention and parents/caregivers received their material during the intervention when each energy balance-related behaviour was implemented. © 2014 World Obesity. Source

De Craemer M.,Ghent University | De Decker E.,Ghent University | De Bourdeaudhuij I.,Ghent University | Verloigne M.,Ghent University | And 61 more authors.
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2014

Although sufficient physical activity is beneficial for preschoolers' health, activity levels in most preschoolers are low. As preschoolers spend a considerable amount of time at home and at kindergarten, interventions should target both environments to increase their activity levels. The aim of the current paper was to describe the six different steps of the Intervention Mapping protocol towards the systematic development and implementation of the physical activity component of the ToyBox-intervention. This intervention is a kindergarten-based, family-involved intervention implemented across six European countries. Based on the results of literature reviews and focus groups with parents/caregivers and kindergarten teachers, matrices of change objectives were created. Then, theory-based methods and practical strategies were selected to develop intervention materials at three different levels: (i) individual level (preschoolers); (ii) interpersonal level (parents/caregivers) and (iii) organizational level (teachers). This resulted in a standardized intervention with room for local and cultural adaptations in each participating country. Although the Intervention Mapping protocol is a time-consuming process, using this systematic approach may lead to an increase in intervention effectiveness. The presented matrices of change objectives are useful for future programme planners to develop and implement an intervention based on the Intervention Mapping protocol to increase physical activity levels in preschoolers. © 2014 World Obesity. Source

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