School-based eHealth interventions to prevent risk behaviours
Summary of the evidence
Multiple health behaviour change interventions target risk factors in combination and are a promising method to improve lifelong health. This approach capitalises on evidence that changing one lifestyle behaviour could increase self-efficacy to improve others. Given that teaching time is often restricted, interventions that simultaneously address multiple risk behaviours are particularly advantageous in school settings. eHealth interventions (delivered via the internet, computers, tablets, mobile technology, or tele-health) offer increased student engagement, fidelity, and scalability, and internet technology is becoming increasingly embedded in school education.
School-based eHealth multiple health behaviour change interventions were found in a systematic review with meta-analysis (Champion et al., 2019, 18 studies, N = 18 873 students) to have no effect in:
- reducing alcohol use or smoking
The interventions significantly increased fruit and vegetable intake (standard mean difference 0·11, 95% CI 0·03 to 0·19; p=0·007) and both accelerometer-measured (0·33, 0·05 to 0·61; p=0·02) and self-reported (0·14, 0·05 to 0·23; p=0·003) physical activity, and reduced screen time (–0·09, –0·17 to –0·01; p=0·03) immediately after the intervention; however, these effects were not sustained at follow-up when data were