Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
The National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) measures the height and weight of children in England in reception and year 6. Most NCMP teams give results to parents via a letter. Local Authorities are keen to demonstrate a positive impact of the letter. In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland the existing feedback letter invites children who are overweight or very overweight to attend a local weight management service called FLiC (Family Lifestyle Club). Uptake is low. The aim of this study is to test the impact of an enhanced results letter on uptake of lifestyle weight management services. We will also send a postal survey to parents to understand what other actions they have taken as a result of receiving the routine or enhanced feedback letter. This will be linked to the NCMP records.
Who can participate?
286 schools in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland - parent of child being measured
What does the study involve?
The 286 schools in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are randomly allocated to one of two groups: parents of year 6 children receive a control letter (usual results letter) or an intervention letter (enhanced results letter). The control letter is the same as the 2013/14 letter, updated for changes to the national guidelines. The intervention letter includes body images of children classified as underweight, healthy weight, overweight and very overweight to provide a visual marker for assessing children’s weight. Overweight and very overweight letters also include a social norms statement about the number of overweight children in the area and more salient recommendations for uptake of weight management services.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Parents have been known to be upset by routine feedback letters. Part of this upset is due to the difficulty in understanding their child’s measurement results. This study tests an enhanced feedback letter which includes a new visual way of feeding back children’s measurement results which is intended to improve understanding. The visual measure has been tested with parents for acceptability in another study. Both the enhanced and routine feedback letters include a range of offers of support to parents. These include face to face support through local weight management services, phone numbers of dieticians for concerned parents, phone number and email address of the NCMP team to discuss the child’s results, plus a range of web support for parents who are less inclined to take up more interactive support.
Where is the study run from?
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland regions in the UK
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
January 2015 to September 2015
Who is funding the study?
Public Health England (UK)
Who is the main contact?
Miss Anna Sallis
IRAS project ID: 168376
Effect of enhanced versus routine National Child Measurement Programme results letters on enrolling children into weight management services and parental attitudes, perceived social norms, intentions and self-reported behaviour in relation to childhood weight
Parents receiving the enhanced National Child Measurement Programme (NCMP) feedback letter will be more likely to enrol their children into weight management services and report better recognition of childhood obesity, and self-reported behavioural intention and behaviour in relation to their child's healthy eating and physical activity levels.
1. NRES Committee North East - Tyne & Wear South, 19/12/2014, REC ref: 14/NE/1251
2. Local R&D permission from Leicestershire Partnership Trust, 29/12/2014
Cluster randomised controlled trial and follow-up survey
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Cluster randomised trial
Patient information sheet
Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request a patient information sheet
Enhanced parental NCMP results feedback letter including body image scans of children in different weight categories and a social norms statement about the majority of children being healthy weight. Control group get the NCMP national template letter.
Primary outcome measure
Enrolment onto a FLiC (Family Lifestyle Club) group or making an appointment for a one to one session with a dietician
Secondary outcome measures
1. Proportions attending first FliC session or one to one appointment with a dietician
2. Proportions signing up for a waiting list for a FLiC group or one to one appointment with a dietician
3. Proportions of enquiries and complaints to both FLiC and the NCMP Team
4. Survey responses
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
Parent of child being measured as part of the NCMP in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
Target number of participants
286 schools/clusters with a total of 9800 parent/child pairs
Total final enrolment
Participant exclusion criteria
Parents opted child out of NCMP
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
Public Health England
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
The trialists intend to publish the results of this study in peer-reviewed journals. This process will begin in December 2015. They will also provide a brief summary of the results to their collaborators who may wish to share these with participating schools.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
Not expected to be available
Basic results (scientific)
2019 results in https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30771362 (added 15/05/2020)