Xth European Congress of Psychology - 3-6 Juli 2007 Prag - Czech Republic

An on-line evaluation of an Internet-based health promotion programme in the school setting
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Padlina Oliver - Jimmy Gerda - Bauer Georg
Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Zurich
Swiss Federal Institute of Sports Magglingen, Swiss Federal Office of Sports

www.feelok.ch is an Internet-based programme for young people, which is supported by 35 institutions (Switzerland, Austria), receives 1'000-1'400 visits a day and addresses 9 health topics: smoking, cannabis, job, stress, self-confidence, sexuality, nutrition, alcohol, and physical activity. Each module contains general information about the respective topic. Various methods are used to present the content to the target group: texts, games, tests, animations, forums, as well as other interactive elements. Worksheets are also available free of charge to facilitate the use of feelok in schools. In addition, the programmes on smoking, cannabis, physical activity, alcohol and stress offer a stage-specific intervention, primarily based on the Transtheoretical Model. Young people who would like to change their behaviour are guided through the process of attaining their target behaviour. For those who have no motivation to change, on the other hand, possible reasons are examined and individual feedback is given to foster the intention to change.

In September 2006, 30 schools in German-speaking Switzerland introduced promotional materials (pisspoint and lenticular images, see www.pisspoint.ch and www.supersign.de for more details) to increase students' awareness of the programme.


The main goals of the study were to test the feasibility of an Internet-based survey in the school setting, to collect data about the impact of the promotional materials, to assess students' pros for the use of feelok and to identify barriers towards its use in the school setting.

Design and methods

Out of the 30 schools, 17 decided to participate in the evaluation. For every school we randomly selected up to 6 classes in grade 7 to 10. The sample consisted of 99 school classes. Teachers administered an Interned-based questionnaire with the selected classes between November 2006 and January 2007.


Eighty percent of the selected school classes (N classes = 78, N students=1'221) filled in the questionnaire, 51% were girls and 95% were students aged 12 to 16 years. Twelve percent (N=180) of the pupils visited feelok the first time after the introduction of the promotional materials, half of them twice or more and for more then 30 minutes. Among the visitors, 87% used feelok at school and 80% did so following the recommendation of the teachers. About 75% of the visitors rated the content of feelok as interesting und the programme as easy to use. Nearly 70% declared that they would visit feelok again, if they needed information about topics, which are addressed by the intervention.

Among those who had not visited feelok up to the data collection (N=1'040), 76% did not know about the existence of the programme. Among non-visitors who had heard about the programme, 48% declared they did not have time to visit feelok, 40% did not use the programme, because the goal of the intervention was not clear enough and 34% rejected the intervention, because it takes place at school.

Among all study participants, about 70% participated in sports at least 2 hours a week, 20% were overweight, 25% had been a victim of physical violence at school during the last 12 months, 7% smoked daily and 66% knew that AIDS is not curable.

The collection of data through the Internet is easy and inexpensive. The high response rate (80%) of our study confirms that online questionnaires are feasible in the school setting. Our data suggest that the dissemination of feelok at schools was not only facilitated by the introduction of promotional materials, but also by the teachers' support and recommendation to students. Young people, who visited feelok, had a positive opinion about the intervention and its content. The majority of those who did not visit feelok did not know about the existence of the programme. Our study indicates the necessity to collaborate more actively with the teachers as main mediators for the dissemination of the intervention.