Exploring the impact of physical activity on the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and well-being of young people attending a pupil referral unit

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The health and well-being of young people has had worldwide attention in recent years. The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund 2007 report found that young people in the UK were unhappy, unhealthy, and the least educated in the developed world. Figures from the Department of Education in 2016, found 14,000+ pupils aged 5–15 years were educated in a pupil referral unit(PRU) and specific groups were over-represented: pupils with special educational needs and disabilities; pupils eligible for Free School Meals; and pupils from particular ethnic groups (Department for Education, 2016). Sport and physical activity participation has been heralded as a context that can develop young people physically, socially, and emotionally(Youth Sport Trust, 2018). Positive youth development (PYD)is a child development framework focusing on obtaining attributes and skills which can lead to healthier outcomes(Holt, 2017, Positive Youth Development through Sport, Oxon: Routledge). These have been categorised into the “5Cs”:competence, confidence, connection, caring and character.The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between participation in a physical activity intervention – aone hour per week session for a duration of seven-months offering coaching in badminton and tchoukball – and the health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and well-being of young people who attend a pupil referral unit. The objectives were to measure HRQoL at 3 time points – pre, post intervention and 6–12 month follow up and to evaluate thestaff and participants’ experiences of, and attitudes to, the intervention. After institutional ethical approval a four-phase mixed methods design was used to explore the impact onhealth (quantitative data) and well-being (qualitative data).Participants in year groups 10 and 11 (n = 16) were recruited from one school-based PRU through a purposive-convenience sample. A series of one way repeated ANOVAs, or thenon-parametric equivalent, were undertaken to discover40 ABSTRACT changes in HRQoL; qualitative data was analysed through template analysis using the 5C’s as a priori themes. The results showed positive changes in HRQoL between pre intervention and follow up in all dimensions of HRQoL but only two statistically significant results for the dimensions of Feelings (P = .038) with a large effect size (d = 1.11), and Bullying (P = .03) with a large effect size (d = .95). Results from pre to post-intervention revealed improvements in all dimensions apart from minor reductions in the dimension sof: Emotion, About Yourself, Free Time, School and Learningand Family and Home Life. Findings from the qualitative data indicated that the young people could identify improvements in all 5Cs. Staff comments indicated improvements in the 5Cs as well as the development of additional life skills. The research findings indicate that sport and physical activity can be used by staff in PRUs as a vehicle to improve the health and wellbeing of a population facing poor health, wellbeing and educational outcomes, as well as providing an avenue to improve relationships between staff and peers and improving confidence in young people
Original languageEnglish
Article numberD2.S3.2(2)
Pages (from-to)40-41
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue numberSup1
Early online date8 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2019
EventBASES 2019 Annual Conference - Leicester, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Nov 201920 Nov 2019


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