Pilot Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00758615
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 25, 2008
Last Update Posted : December 6, 2013
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jason Mendoza, Seattle Children's Hospital

Brief Summary:
Walking to school is one of the objectives for children and adolescents in Healthy People 2010 and in previous studies was associated with higher levels of overall physical activity, which has been shown to decrease obesity. Therefore, more children walking to school should result in increased physical activity and presumably reduce obesity. However, increasing child pedestrian activity could increase the risk of child pedestrian injuries. Walking with an adult who provides instruction in pedestrian skills and monitors the child's actual behavior may be the most important component of a successful intervention. Walking with an adult reduced child pedestrian injury risk by almost 70%. A walking school bus (WSB) addresses safety concerns by providing a period of physical activity supervised by several responsible adults and teaching opportunities around pedestrian safety skills on the way to and from school. Children may join the WSB at various points along the set route. Despite the growing popularity of WSB programs in the United States, randomized, controlled-studies are lacking that examine the impact on children's safety, physical activity, and health. We seek to help fill this gap in the literature by piloting a WSB program in elementary schools in the Houston Independent School District to test feasibility. We hypothesize that a WSB program will: (1) increase the number of students walking to school and decrease the number of students driven to school by car, (2) increase students' pedestrian safety behaviors (3) increase students' physical activity, and (4) decrease students' excess weight gain.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Obesity Physical Activity Pedestrian Safety Injury Prevention Behavioral: Walking School Bus Not Applicable

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 149 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Pilot and Feasibility Evaluation of a Walking School Bus Program Intervention for Elementary School Students
Study Start Date : September 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 2009
Actual Study Completion Date : June 2009

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: I
Walking School Bus Intervention
Behavioral: Walking School Bus
Students are chaperoned to and from school by adults (study staff or parent volunteers) along set routes.
Other Name: Safe Routes to School

No Intervention: C
Usual school procedures for student transportation to school

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Method of student transportation to school [ Time Frame: Immediately pre- and post-intervention ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Physical activity [ Time Frame: Immediately pre- and post-intervention ]
    Physical activity objectively measured by accelerometers.

  2. Pedestrian crosswalk behavior [ Time Frame: Immediately pre- and post-intervention ]
  3. Parents' psychosocial constructs related to allowing their child to walk to school [ Time Frame: Immediately pre- and post-intervention ]
  4. Child's self-efficacy for walking to school [ Time Frame: Immediately pre- and post-intervention ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   8 Years to 12 Years   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • 4th grade student at a study school in the Houston Independent School District
  • Must be physically able to walk to and from school

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Any condition that would prevent the student from walking to or from school

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT00758615

United States, Texas
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Sponsors and Collaborators
Seattle Children's Hospital
Principal Investigator: Jason A Mendoza, MD, MPH Seattle Children's Research Institute

Publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Jason Mendoza, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Seattle Children's Hospital Identifier: NCT00758615     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 1R21CA133418-01 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: September 25, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: December 6, 2013
Last Verified: December 2013

Keywords provided by Jason Mendoza, Seattle Children's Hospital:
Physical activity
Injury Prevention
Pedestrian safety
Self efficacy
Walking School Bus
Safe Routes to School