Aims: To evaluate the efficacy of a school-based educational programme in reducing the incidence and prevalence of smoking in secondary school students (compulsory secondary education: CSE) in Catalonia (Spain).
Design: Cluster-randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Schools in the Tarragona Health Care Region of Spain.
Participants: All students enrolled in the first year of CSE during the 2007-08 school year in the 29 participating schools (n = 2245); 1583 students completed the follow-up over the 4-year study period (804 and 779 in the control and intervention groups, respectively).
Measures: Self-reported questionnaires were administered during the first quarter of the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 school years. A smoker was defined as 'smoking cigarettes daily or occasionally within the past 30 days'. Multi-level logistic regression analysis was conducted to analyse the prevalence and incidence of smoking between the intervention and control groups.
Intervention: A school-based educational programme comprising seven modules, each with a different approach to smoking habits. Each module included activities, work-shops and/or class sessions.
Findings: The initial prevalence of smokers in the control and intervention groups who completed the follow-up was 3.9% and 4.2%, respectively. At the end of the study, the prevalence of smokers was 24.4% in the control group and 19.9% in the intervention group. The accumulated incidence of new smokers was 230.57/1000 in the control group and 183.65/1000 in the intervention group. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) comparing the intervention group with the control group was 0.75 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.49, 1.15] for smoking prevalence, and 0.74 (95% CI = 0.48, 1.14) for smoking incidence.
Conclusions: A school-based educational intervention for secondary school students in Catalonia, Spain was not found to lead to a statistically significant reduction of smoking prevalence and incidence.
Keywords: Adolescents; cluster randomized clinical trial; nurses; primary health care; school; smoking.
© 2015 Society for the Study of Addiction.