Protocol for developing a core outcome set for evaluating school-based physical activity interventions in primary schools

Kimberley A. Foley, Tishya Venkatraman, Bina Ram, Louisa Ells, Esther Van Sluijs, Dougal S. Hargreaves, Felix Greaves, Mansour Taghavi Azar Sharabiani, Russell M. Viner, Alex Bottle, Sonia Saxena*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction Primary school-based physical activity interventions, such as The Daily Mile initiative, have the potential to increase children's physical activity levels over time, which is associated with a variety of health benefits. Comparing interventions or combining results of several studies of a single intervention is challenging because previous studies have examined different outcomes or used different measures that are not feasible or relevant for researchers in school settings. The development and implementation of a core outcome set (COS) for primary school-based physical activity interventions would ensure outcomes important to those involved in implementing and evaluating interventions are standardised. Methods and analysis Our aim is to develop a COS for studies of school-based physical activity interventions. We will achieve this by undertaking a four-stage process:(1) identify a list of outcomes assessed in studies through a systematic review of international literature; (2) establish domains from these outcomes to produce questionnaire items; (3) prioritise outcomes through a two-stage Delphi survey with four key stakeholder groups (researchers, public health professionals, educators and parents), where stakeholders rate the importance of each outcome on a 9-point Likert scale (consensus that the outcomes should be included in the COS will be determined as 70% or more of all stakeholders scoring the outcome 7%-9% and 15% or less scoring 1 to 3); (4) achieve consensus on a final COS in face-to-face meetings with a sample of stakeholders and primary school children. Ethics and dissemination We have received ethical approval from Imperial College London (ref: 19IC5428). The results of this study will be disseminated via conference presentations/public health meetings, peer-reviewed publications and through appropriate media channels. Trial registration number Core Outcome Measures in Effectiveness Trials Initiative (COMET) number: 1322.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere031868
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding SS is funded by the National Institute for Health Research School for Public Health Research (NIHR SPHR) and the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC). KAF and BR are funded by ‘The Daily Mile Foundation’ supported by INEOS. TV is funded by an NIHR SPHR PhD Studentship. The NIHR School for Public Health Research is a partnership between the Universities of Sheffield; Bristol; Cambridge; Imperial; and University College London; The London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM); LiLaC – a collaboration between the Universities of Liverpool and Lancaster; and Fuse - The Centre for Translational Research in Public Health a collaboration between Newcastle, Durham, Northumbria, Sunderland and Teesside Universities. EvS is supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC) (Grant MC_UU_12015/7).

Publisher Copyright:
© © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • consensus methods
  • core outcomes set
  • delphi technique
  • physical activity interventions
  • primary schools


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