Process evaluation of a multi-component intervention to reduce infectious diseases and improve hygiene and well-being among school children: The Hi Five study

  • Bonnesen C
  • Plauborg R
  • Denbæk A
 et al. 
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Abstract

The Hi Five study was a three-armed cluster randomized controlled trial designed to reduce infections and improve hygiene and well-being among pupils. Participating schools (n=43)were randomized into either control (n=15) or one of two intervention groups (n=28). The intervention consisted of three components: (i) a curriculum (ii) mandatory daily hand washing before lunch (iii) extra cleaning of school toilets. The aim of this study was to evaluate the implementation and to identify challenges to program implementation. Several data sources were used, including observations of school toilets, semi-structured interviews with school coordinators (n=4), focus groups with pupils (n=6) and teachers (n=5), and questionnaires among pupils (n=5440), teachers (n=387) and school coordinators (n=28). This study indicates that the curriculum was successfully implemented at most schools, and that teachers and pupils reacted positively to this part of the intervention. However, daily hand washing before lunch seems to be difficult to implement. Overall, the implementation process was affected by several factors such as poor sanitary facilities, lack of time and prioritization and objections against the increasing tendency to place the responsibility for child-rearing tasks on schools. This study reveals the strong and weak parts of the Hi Five study and can guide program improvement.

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