Me, You & Us: A programme for preventing eating disorders in UK secondary schools

Update Il y a 4 ans
Reference: ISRCTN42594993

Woman and Man

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Background and study aims This study explored ways of preventing eating disorders and tackling body dissatisfaction in young people. Although several school programmes of this sort already exist in the UK, none has been rigorously evaluated to determine whether it is actually helpful for young people. Our aim was to see whether students that receive a school intervention called Me, You & Us showed improvements in body esteem, eating habits, the extent to which they ‘buy in’ to a media ideal of thinness, interactions with friends, mood and self-esteem, compared to their peers in a control group. We were also interested in how much students liked these lessons and whether school staff were able to deliver the lessons from a manual which we gave them. Who can participate? All students in years 8 and 9 of participating schools were be eligible to take part in this study. Students did not take part if they did not have written consent from a parent or carer, or if they were deemed by school staff to have insufficient English language abilities to understand consent procedures and to complete the study questionnaires. What does the study involve? Classes in participants’ schools were randomly allocated to receive either the Me, You & Us intervention or to continue having their usual curriculum. The Me, You & Us programme involved six 50 minute lessons and was be delivered by participants’ usual school teachers. All students were asked to complete a series of questionnaires at three times: before the lessons started, after the lessons finished and three months later. These questionnaires focused on eating habits, body satisfaction, friendships, mood and self-esteem. They took no longer than 45 minutes to complete and were administered by school staff during the normal school day. What are the possible benefits and risks of participating? Participants were offered a £10 shopping voucher on completion of the questionnaires as a gesture of appreciation of the time spent taking part. In addition, the school received £10 per student taking part in recognition of the time and effort required to run the study. There were no risks of physical harm from taking part in this study. There was a small chance that students may find answering questions about eating or body satisfaction to be upsetting. However, students were reminded that they did not have to answer any questions that they did not want to and their teacher was be present at all times to provide support if it was needed. Where is the study run from? The study was run from the Section of Eating Disorders, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for? The study started in June 2011 and ran for approximately 15 months. Each participants’ involvement in the study lasted four - five months: one and a half months receiving the lessons followed by a period of three months before the final questionnaires. Who is funding the study? The study has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Who is the main contact? Ms Helen Sharpe, [email protected] (PhD Candidate) Prof Ulrike Schmidt, Ulr[email protected] (Supervisor)

Inclusion criteria

  • Eating disorders / body dissatisfaction