Condition category
Not Applicable
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status
Results overdue

Plain English Summary

Not provided at time of registration

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Dr Paul Gertler


Contact details

Haas School of Business
MC 1900
University of California
United States of America

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title



Study hypothesis

Oportunidades ( is a federal program aimed at improving the lives of people in extreme poverty. The program offers supports in education, heath, nutrition and employment for people in extreme poverty.

Study hypothesis: Program participation will be associated with improvements in health outcomes

Ethics approval

1. Human subjects review obtained from Center for Protection of Human Subjects at University of California Berkeley in 2003. Refs: CPHS Protocol #2004-6-128 and CPHS Protocol #2004-6-132
2. Ethics Review Board of National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, approved in 2003

Study design

Randomized controlled trial (Randomized at community level)

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting

Not specified

Trial type

Not Specified

Patient information sheet


Child development, adolescent risk behavior, adult health.


Due to budgetary and logistical constraints, the Mexican Government was unable to enroll all eligible families simultaneously; rather, it needed to phase in enrollment over a period of time. For ease of implementation, the Government decided that it would enroll whole communities at a time and that it would enroll them as fast as possible so that no eligible household would be kept out of the program. As a result of this process, the government randomly chose 320 treatment and 186 control communities for a phased roll-out in seven states for a total of 506 experimental communities. Random assignment was generated without weighting using randomization commands in STATA (statistical software); thus, each of the communities was given equal chance of being included. None of the sites was told they would be participating in the study, and information regarding timing of roll-out was not made public.

Key activities: Program benefits are distributed only if children, pregnant women, lactating women, and other family members complied with a series of behavioral changes. The requirements included prenatal care, good baby care and immunization, nutrition monitoring and supplementation, preventive checkups, and participation in educational programs regarding health, hygiene and nutrition. Adult family members were required to attend a bi-annual health check-up, and were encouraged to participate in regular educational sessions at which health, hygiene, and nutrition issues and best practices were discussed. Oportunidades verified that households completed the required health care visits by having medical providers at participating public health clinics provide certification of participation. The control communities started the interventions after 18 months of randomization.

Intervention type



Not Specified

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Child development, adolescent risk behavior and adult health were assessed in 2003 by the following:
1. Body mass index (BMI, defined as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) was used to define overweight (25≤BMI), obesity grade I (30≤BMI), and obesity grade II (35≤BMI) at a follow-up survey in 2003.
2. Uncontrolled hypertension was defined as diastolic blood pressure (DBP)≥90 mm Hg or systolic pressure (SBP) ≥140 mm Hg in accordance with The Joint National Committee on Hypertension at a follow-up survey in 2003.
3. Questionnaires were administered to obtain information about the following:
3.1. Demographic characteristics
3.2. Educational attainment
3.3. Assets (large and small household assets, and vehicles)
3.4. Household construction (presence of dirt floor, electricity or bathroom)
3.5. Land and animals owned
3.6. Household composition (age and sex of all household members)
3.7. Marital status (married/cohabitating or unmarried/living alone)
3.8. Indigenous ethnicity (whether an indigenous language is spoken by the head of household)
3.9. Self-reported health status (distance he/she can walk without being tired)
3.10. Health outcomes (report from doctor regarding status of blood pressure or diabetes within the past five years)

These outcomes will be assessed again in 2007.

Secondary outcome measures

No secondary outcome measures

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. All households with income <20% of national average
2. Living in one of the following seven states: Guerrero, Hidalgo, Michoacán, Puebla, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, or Veracruz

Participant type


Age group

Not Specified



Target number of participants

9,000; n=506 total communities

Participant exclusion criteria

All households with income >20% of national average.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment


Trial participating centre

Haas School of Business
United States of America

Sponsor information


Department of Social Welfare (Mexico)

Sponsor details

c/o Dr Rogelio Gòmez-Hermosillo
Department of Social Welfare
Mexico City

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

National Institute of Child health and Human Development (NICHD) (USA)

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

National government


United States of America

Funder name

Fogarty International Center (USA)

Alternative name(s)

The Fogarty International Center, Fogarty, FIC

Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

Research institutes and centers


United States of America

Funder name

Mexican Government (Mexico)

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes