Family-based interventions to increase physical activity in children: a systematic review, meta-analysis and realist synthesis.
Obesity reviews : an official journal of the International Association for the Study of Obesity 2015 ; 17: 345-60.
DOI : 10.1111/obr.12362
PubMed ID : 26756281
PMCID : PMC4819691
Family-based interventions represent a potentially valuable route to increasing child physical activity (PA) in children. A dual meta-analysis and realist synthesis approach examined existing interventions to assist those developing programmes to encourage uptake and maintenance of PA in children.
Studies were screened for inclusion based on including participants aged 5-12 years, having a substantive aim of increasing PA by engaging the family and reporting on PA outcome. Duplicate data extraction and quality assessment were conducted. Meta-analysis was conducted in STATA. Realist synthesis included theory development and evidence mapping.
Forty-seven studies were included, of which three received a 'strong' quality rating, 21 'moderate' and 23 'weak'. The meta-analysis (19 studies) demonstrated a significant small effect in favour of the experimental group (standardized mean difference: 0.41; 95%CI 0.15-0.67). Sensitivity analysis, removing one outlier, reduced this to 0.29 (95%CI 0.14-0.45). Realist synthesis (28 studies) provided insight into intervention context (particularly, family constraints, ethnicity and parental motivation), and strategies to change PA (notably, goal-setting and reinforcement combined).
This review provides key recommendations to inform policy makers and other practitioners in developing evidence-based interventions aimed at engaging the family to increase PA in children, and identifies avenues for future research.