Background: Physical activity is associated with better health, but knowledge about health promoting interventions, including physical activity for families in disadvantaged areas and the impact on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is sparse. The aim of this study was to assess HRQOL in children and their parents after participation in the programme "A Healthy Generation".
Methods: The programme is delivered in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas in Sweden and offers physical activity and a healthy meal or fruit twice a week from August to May to families with children in grade 2. Children (n = 67), aged 8-9 years, and their parents (n = 90) participated in this controlled study conducted in four schools, two control and two intervention schools. HRQOL of children and adults was assessed at baseline and follow-up after the intervention with the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) 4.0 and the Gothenburg Quality of Life scale, respectively. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs), linear regression and Pearson's correlation were conducted.
Results: There were no significant differences between intervention and control in HRQOL among children or adults after the intervention. However, in a subgroup of children (n = 20) and adults (n = 29) with initial low HRQOL scores at baseline, there was a significant difference between the intervention group and control group after the intervention (children (total score): p = 0.02; adults (social domain) p = 0.04). Furthermore, within the intervention group, there was a significant relationship between level of participation in "A Healthy Generation" and the physical domain of HRQOL among girls (r = 0.44, p = 0.01), but not boys (r = - 0.07, p = 0.58).
Conclusion: Participation in the programme "A Healthy Generation" did not show a significant intervention effect on HRQOL in general. However, the findings suggest that HRQOL may be increased for children and adults with low HRQOL in disadvantaged areas. This knowledge can contribute to the development of health promoting interventions in such areas, and to more equitable health.
Trial registration: ISRCTN ISRCTN11660938. Retrospectively registered 23 September 2019.
Keywords: Children; Family intervention; Health related quality of life and physical activity.