Objectives To deliver a nationwide implementation of the ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme in Brazil and to compare the outcomes with results obtained previously in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Method A cohort study among 3694 Brazilian children aged 9–12 years within 128 elementary schools situated in 12 cities in the five Regions of Brazil. The ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme contains 11 90 min sessions: the first 45 min serve to encourage physical activity through the development of football skills (Play Football) and the second 45 min provide a vehicle for delivering 10 health messages (Play Fair). We measured preintervention and postintervention health knowledge (29-item questionnaire) and the children's evaluation of the programme (6-item questionnaire).
Results Mean age of the children across the five Regions was 10.6 years (range 9.2–11.6). The mean preintervention health knowledge score for the five Regions was 60.2% (range 53.8–65.3%); the mean postintervention score was 78.6% (range 70.7–86.8%); thus the mean increase in health knowledge was 18.4% (range 13.6–29.1%). 91% of the children gave a positive evaluation for the programme (range across five Regions: 82.3–96.7%).
Summary The study showed that the ‘FIFA 11 for Health’ programme, which was originally developed in English and translated into another language, was delivered successfully with results equivalent to those previously obtained in Sub-Saharan Africa. The programme was effective across the five Regions of Brazil.
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