Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of the MADE4Life Program: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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The aim was to assess the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a community-based physical activity (PA) intervention targeting mothers and daughters.


A randomized controlled trial of 48 primary school-aged girls and their 40 mothers were randomized to (i) Mothers And Daughters Exercising for Life (MADE4Life) (n = 21 mothers, n = 25 daughters) or (ii) wait-list control (n = 19 mothers, n = 23 daughters). The 8-week program involved 8 sessions; 25-minute separate mothers and daughters education sessions and 60-minutes PA together. Assessments were at baseline, postintervention and 3-month postintervention. Primary outcome measure was daughters’ moderateto-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (accelerometer). Secondary outcomes included accelerometer-assessed light/moderate/vigorous PA, BMI, waist circumference, body composition, blood pressure, resting heart rate, sedentary behaviors and mothers’ self-reported PA, parenting measures, and cognitions. Intention-to-treat analysis used linear mixed models.


Recruitment and retention goals were exceeded. Attendance rates, program acceptability and satisfaction were high. There was no significant group-by-time effect for daughters’ %MVPA (–0.08; 95%CI –1.49, 1.33, d = –0.03) or other secondary outcomes for girls (postintervention range d = 0.01 to –0.46). Significant intervention effects were found for mothers’ %VPA (P = .04, d = 0.25) and role modeling (P = .02, d = 0.66).


MADE4Life was both feasible and acceptable. Although very small effect sizes were found for the daughters, significant changes were seen for mothers (d = 0.25 to 0.66). Future fully powered trials targeting PA in mothers and daughters is warranted.

Barnes, Plotnikoff, and Morgan (Philip.Morgan@newcastle.edu.au) are with the School of Education, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia. Collins is with the School of Health Science, Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Callaghan, NSW, Australia.