Methods: This study aims to develop and evaluate the Health4Life intervention, a universal school-based prevention program for secondary school students (aged 12-15). Grounded in principles of social influence and self-determination theories, the intervention consists of: 1) A universal, online program delivered via interactive cartoons for all students, 2) A smartphone application for self-monitoring and goal-setting, and 3) A booster app, delivered to students who remain ‘at-risk’ as they progress throughout school. Intervention development is currently underway; scoping activities include a systematic review of existing eHealth multiple health behavior change (MHBC) interventions targeting the Big 6, an online survey to understand health beliefs, knowledge and technology use among students, and consultation with multidisciplinary experts. A cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) will be run in 80 Australian schools to evaluate the intervention in 2019.
Results: This presentation will outline the co-development process of Health4Life and the protocol for the RCT. The systematic review (which identified 22 studies) found that effective programs typically included a web-based tailoring component to provide youth with normative or stage-matched feedback and were most effective in modifying diet and physical activity. A total of 815 students completed the online survey (mean age=13.39; 84% female). The majority of participants rated their own health as ‘good or ‘very good’ (75%), yet most were not meeting national guidelines for the Big 6 (e.g. 89% did not eat enough vegetables and 88% did not meet guidelines for physical activity. Additionally, students had poor knowledge of the recommended guidelines for the Big 6 (% incorrect): physical activity (74%), screen time (51%), sleep (63%), alcohol (90%), fruit (65%) and vegetable intake (67%).
Conclusion: The Health4Life intervention aims to address knowledge gaps identified in the online survey and to bridge evidence gaps that were highlighted in the systematic review. Once developed, Health4Life will be the first eHealth intervention to concurrently target six key lifestyle risk factors among adolescents, prior to the onset of chronic disease.