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Effects of student participation in school health promotion: a systematic review

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  • Ursula Griebler, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Health Promotion Research, Vienna, Austria , Austria
  • Daniela Rojatz, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Health Promotion Research, Vienna, Austria and, Austria
  • Venka Simovska
  • Rudolf Forster, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute Health Promotion Research, Vienna, Austria and, Austria
The aim of this systematic review was to summarize systematically the existing evidence for the effects of student participation in designing, planning, implementing and/or evaluating school health promotion measures. The focus
was on the effects of participation in school health promotion measures rather than on student involvement at school in general. Participation is a core value for health promotion but empirical evidence of its outcomes is scarce. We
searched major bibliographic databases (including ASSIA, ERIC, PsycINFO, Scopus, PubMed and the Social Sciences Citation Index). Two reviewers independently decided about inclusion and exclusion of the identified abstracts
(n ¼ 5075) and full text articles. Of the 90 full text articles screened, 26 papers met the inclusion criteria. We identified evidence for positive effects, especially for the students themselves, the school as organization, and interactions
and social relations at school. Almost all included studies showed personal effects on students referring to an increased satisfaction, motivation and ownership, an increase in skills, competencies and knowledge, personal development, health-related effects and influence on student perspective.
Given that student participation has more been discussed as a value, or ideal of health promotion in schools, these findings documenting its effectiveness are important. However, further research is needed to consider the level or
intensity of involvement, different approaches and stages of participation in the health promotion intervention, as well as mediating factors such as gender, socio-cultural background or academic achievement, in a more systematic
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Promotion International
Pages (from-to)195–206
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Participation, Students, Health promotion, Effects, Review, Sundhedspædagogik

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