Condition category
Nutritional, Metabolic, Endocrine
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Firefighters’ health is affected by the high prevalence rate of obesity and cardiovascular diseases, which also are the common risk factors of sudden cardiac death. The aim of this study is to enhance healthy eating among firefighters through healthy eating education programme.

Who can participate?
Current Hong Kong Fire Services Department male firefighters aged over 18 years.

What does the study involve?
This will be a randomized control trial study. Participants will be randomly assigned into either control (health promotion pamphlet) or intervention (health promotion pamphlet and education materials through WhatsApp) groups. Healthy eating knowledge was assessed by self-administrative questionnaire and anthropometric measurements were recorded at three different time points.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
The possible benefits are: the findings of this study will be set as a foundation of a bigger research project, which can be lead to a longitudinal study to observe the sustainability of firefighters’ healthy eating habit. There are no possible risks involved in this study.

Where is the study run from?
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
September 2018 to October 2019

Who is funding the study?
Hong Kong Polytechnic University funded the project.

Who is the main contact?
Dr. Kin Cheung,

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Ms Winnie Ng


Contact details

No. 8 Hung Lok Road
Hung Hom
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
(852) 2766-6773

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number

Nil known number

Nil known

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

Effectiveness of health promotion program of improving eating habit and knowledge among Hong Kong firefighters: A clustered randomized control trial



Study hypothesis

Using the combination of WhatsApp and pamphlets is better than pamphlets alone in promoting healthy eating habit.

Ethics approval

Approved 13/08/2018, Human Subjects Ethics Sub-committee (HSESC) of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Room Z404, 4/F, Block Z, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong;; 852 2766 6378), ref: HSEARS20180527001-01

Study design

2-armed pre-post test clustered randomized control trial

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Cluster randomised trial

Trial setting


Trial type

Quality of life

Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use contact details to request a participant information sheet.


Obesity and cardiovascular diseases


All participants are the firefighting teams’ member of the Hong Kong Fire Services Department (HKFSD) and they come from more than one fire stations, which located in different districts in Hong Kong. Each fire station may consist of more than one firefighting teams. Each fire station will be treated as individual cluster and randomly assigned into either intervention or control groups using computer generated random numbers.
Participants in the control group will receive the stage-based promotion pamphlet at the baseline; whereas the participants in intervention group will receive both stage-based promotion pamphlet (same as the control group) and baseline stage-matched teaching material every two weeks by WhatsApp. Data includes anthropometric measurements (such as body height, body weight, waist circumference, hip circumference), demographic information (such as age, education level, marital status), working characteristics, eating habits, perception on healthy eating promotion programme, stage of change, decisional balance and self-efficacy. Anthropometric measurements will be recorded by a well-trained researcher using same set of measuring instruments throughout the measuring process. Other data will be collected using self-administrative questionnaire. Data will be collected in either University laboratory or fire stations at three different time points: T0 (Baseline), T1 (three months after the completion of 8-week intervention), and T2 (three months after T1).

Firefighters’ characteristics and their eating habit are collected at three time points: baseline, T0, 3-months after the completion of 8-weeks intervention, T1 and 3-months after T1, T2. The effects of health promotional program on firefighters’ eating habit and health knowledge will be assessed by comparing the outcomes within individual groups at different time points. Furthermore, comparison between intervention (WhatsApp and pamphlets) and control (pamphlets) groups will also conducted.

Intervention type



Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Eating habit will be assessed using self-administrative questionnaire, which developed on the basis of the Promoting Healthy Lifestyles: Alternative Models’ Effects (PHLAME). Data will be collected at three timepoints: baseline, T0, 3-months after the 8-weeks intervention, T1 and three months after T1, T2.

Secondary outcome measures

1. Anthropometric measurements (body height, body weight, waist circumference, hip circumference) measured by the researcher at three timepoints (baseline, T0, 3-months after the 8-weeks intervention, T1 and three months after T1, T2) using reliable instruments
2. Demographic information (age, education level, marital status) at baseline

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Male
2. Aged 18 years or older;
3. Currently working for the HKFSD as firefighters
4. Own a smart phone, which able to access internet

Participant type

Healthy volunteer

Age group




Target number of participants

Total of 108 participants are required. There are 30 participants per cluster

Participant exclusion criteria


Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

Hong Kong

Trial participating centre

The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hung Hom Kowloon
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Trial participating centre

Hong Kong Fire Services Department Staffs General Association
Flat A, 2/F, Cheng Hong Building. 47-57 Temple Street Yaumatei Kowloon
Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Sponsor information


Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Sponsor details

School of Nursing
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hung Hom
Hong Kong
Hong Kong
(852) 2766-6773

Sponsor type




Funder type


Funder name

Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Alternative name(s)


Funding Body Type

government organisation

Funding Body Subtype

government non-federal


Hong Kong

Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Planned publication in a high-impact peer-reviewed journal such as Journal of Clinical Nursing.

IPD sharing statement:
The current data sharing plans for this study are unknown and will be available at a later date

Intention to publish date


Participant level data

To be made available at a later date

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

Publication citations

Additional files

Editorial Notes

10/04/2019: Trial’s existence confirmed by IRB