Sustainability of and Adherence to Preschool Health Promotion Among Children 9 to 13 Years Old

Rodrigo Fernández-Jiménez, German Briceño, Jaime Céspedes, Sarha Vargas, Jennifer Guijarro, Jorge Baxter, Marilyn Hunn, Gloria Santos-Beneit, Carla Rodríguez, Maria Paula Céspedes, Emilia Bagiella, Zorayda Moreno, Isabel Carvajal, Valentin Fuster

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch Articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Long-term evaluations of child health promotion programs are required to assess their sustainability and the need for reintervention. Objectives: This study sought to explore the long-term impact of a preschool health promotion intervention delivered in an urban low-income area of Colombia (phase 1) and to assess the effect of a new community-based intervention (phase 2). Methods: In phase 1, a cross-sectional analysis of knowledge, attitudes, and habits (KAH) toward a healthy lifestyle and ideal cardiovascular health (ICH) scores of 1,216 children 9 to 13 years old was performed. Of the total, 596 had previously received a preschool health promotion intervention at 3 to 5 years old, whereas the remaining 620 were not previously intervened (intervention-naive group). In phase 2, all children were cluster randomized 1:1 to receive either a 4-month educational intervention (the SI! Program) to instill healthy behaviors in community centers (24 clusters, 616 children) or to control (24 clusters, 600 children). Previously intervened and intervention-naive children were not mixed in the same cluster. The primary outcomes were the change from baseline in KAH and ICH scores. Intervention effects were tested for with linear mixed-effects models. Results: In phase 1, ∼85% of children had nonideal cardiovascular health, and those who previously received a preschool intervention showed a negligible residual effect compared with intervention-naive children. In phase 2, the between-group (control vs. intervention) differences in the change of the overall KAH and ICH scores were 0.92 points (95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.28 to 2.13; p = 0.133) and −0.20 points (95% CI: −0.43 to 0.03; p = 0.089), respectively. No booster effect was detected. However, a dose-response effect was observed, with maximal benefit in children attending >75% of the scheduled intervention; the difference in the change of KAH between the high- and low-adherence groups was 3.72 points (95% CI: 1.71 to 5.73; p < 0.001). Conclusions: Although overall significant differences between the intervention and control groups were not observed, high adherence rates to health promotion interventions may improve effectiveness and outcomes in children. Reintervention strategies may be required at multiple stages to induce sustained health promotion effects (Salud Integral Colombia [SI! Colombia II]; NCT03119792)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1565-1578
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 7 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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