Evidence-based health-promoting interventions (HPIs) early in life can encourage the development of healthy lifestyle behaviors that can track into adulthood, promote positive physical, emotional and mental health, and potentially reduce health inequalities. PromeSS I was a cross-sectional survey of school principals in a convenience sample of 171 elementary and 48 public high schools in Quebec, Canada. The main objectives were to describe social inequalities in the availability of school-based HPIs as well as in the process of selecting and implementing these interventions. Telephone interviews were conducted with school principals in 2016-19 and questionnaire items focused on school characteristics and culture as well as the availability, selection, implementation, and sustainability of health-promoting interventions. Qualitative interviews were conducted with representatives from 17 school service centers (previously known as school boards) on the history and scaling-up of health-promoting interventions in their jurisdiction.
PromeSS II, which is taking place in 2023-24, is a continuation and an extension of the earlier PromeSS I study. In addition to examining potential social inequalities in HPI availability and implementation, the objectives of PromeSS II include to determine whether the profile of available HPIs in Québec elementary and secondary schools has changed since PromeSS I, and whether any changes were due to COVID-19. We will once again a cross-sectional survey of principals or vice-principals, but this time in a larger sample of schools - 600 elementary schools and 128 secondary schools across Québec. School principals will complete a 30-40-minute questionnaire through the online platform, LimeSurvey, which is administered by the University of Montreal. Inclusion of the 171 elementary schools and 48 secondary schools that participated in PromeSS I will allow us to study change in HPI availability over time. All participants will be asked about the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic affected the availability of HPIs in their schools.
Overall the data collected in PromeSS are critical to guiding and improving school based HPIs, especially in disadvantaged communities.