Background: Long-term evaluations of child health promotion programs are required to assess their sustainability and the need for reintervention. Objectives: This study sought to explore the long-term impact of a preschool health promotion intervention delivered in an urban low-income area of Colombia (phase 1) and to assess the effect of a new community-based intervention (phase 2). Methods: In phase 1, a cross-sectional analysis of knowledge, attitudes, and habits (KAH) toward a healthy lifestyle and ideal cardiovascular health (ICH) scores of 1,216 children 9 to 13 years old was performed. Of the total, 596 had previously received a preschool health promotion intervention at 3 to 5 years old, whereas the remaining 620 were not previously intervened (intervention-naive group). In phase 2, all children were cluster randomized 1:1 to receive either a 4-month educational intervention (the SI! Program) to instill healthy behaviors in community centers (24 clusters, 616 children) or to control (24 clusters, 600 children). Previously intervened and intervention-naive children were not mixed in the same cluster. The primary outcomes were the change from baseline in KAH and ICH scores. Intervention effects were tested for with linear mixed-effects models. Results: In phase 1, ∼85% of children had nonideal cardiovascular health, and those who previously received a preschool intervention showed a negligible residual effect compared with intervention-naive children. In phase 2, the between-group (control vs. intervention) differences in the change of the overall KAH and ICH scores were 0.92 points (95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.28 to 2.13; p = 0.133) and −0.20 points (95% CI: −0.43 to 0.03; p = 0.089), respectively. No booster effect was detected. However, a dose-response effect was observed, with maximal benefit in children attending >75% of the scheduled intervention; the difference in the change of KAH between the high- and low-adherence groups was 3.72 points (95% CI: 1.71 to 5.73; p < 0.001). Conclusions: Although overall significant differences between the intervention and control groups were not observed, high adherence rates to health promotion interventions may improve effectiveness and outcomes in children.
- health promotion
- healthy lifestyle