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.