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Table 1 Baseline characteristics overall and by group

From: A mobile health intervention to encourage physical activity in children: a randomised controlled trial

  Total sample n = 150
n (%)
SMS group
n = 50
n (%)
‘SMS + pedometer’ group
n = 50
n (%)
Usual care group
n = 50
n (%)
P value
(SMS vs usual care)
P value
(‘SMS + pedometer’ vs usual care)
Socio-demographic factors
 Child mean age (SD) 7.30 (1.22) 7.42 (0.93) 7.07 (1.30) 6.87 (1.06) 0.43 0.43
 Child sex (boys) 84 (56.0) 29 (58.0) 32 (64.0) 23 (46.0) 0.32 0.05
 Parent mean age (SD) 40.05 (5.68) 40.47 (5.24) 39.56 (5.34) 39.1 (8.52) 0.32 0.83
 Parent sex (female) 135 (90) 49 (98.0) 41 (82.0) 45 (90.0) 0.20 0.19
Parent education
 Secondary level 19 (12.7) 6 (12.0) 9 (18.3) 4 (8.0) 0.52 0.42
 Trade/diploma 34 (22.6) 15 (30.0) 9 (18.4) 10 (20.0)   
 University/Post-graduate 97 (66.7) 30 (52.0) 31 (63.2) 36 (72.0)   
Work status
 Full-time 60 (40.0) 20 (40.0) 16 (32.0) 24 (48.0) 0.88 0.44
 Part-time 70 (46.7) 24 (48.0) 27 (54.0) 19 (38.0)   
 Not working 3 (2) 2 (4.0) 0 (0.0) 1 (2.0)   
 Home duties 17 (11.3) 4 (8.0) 7 (14.0) 6 (12.0)   
Family structure
 Partnered 134 (89.3) 43 (86.0) 44 (88.0) 47 (94.0) 0.51 0.66
 Single parent 16 (10.7) 7 (14.0) 6 (12.0) 3 (6.0)   
 Siblings 111 (74.0) 39 (78.0) 37 (74.0) 35 (70.0) 0.66 0.74
Child attachment to dog
 Level of attachment to dog (SD)a 4.39 (0.68) 4.40 (0.67) 4.34 (0.82) 4.42 (0.52) 0.62 0.86
Feeling of closeness to dogb
 Less overlap 17 (11.4) 4 (8.0) 5 (10.0) 8 (16.3) 0.68 0.35
 More overlap 133 (88.6) 46 (92) 45 (90.0) 42 (83.9)   
Dog-facilitated physical activity (with child)
Family dog walking
 Less than once / week 52 (32.7) 17 (34.0) 14 (28.0) 17 (34.7) 0.35 0.24
 1 -2 times / week 49 (30.8) 14 (28.0) 15 (30.0) 18 (36.7)   
 3 -4 times / week 38 (23.9) 12 (24.0) 13 (26.0) 12 (24.5)   
 ≥ 5 times / week 20 (12.6) 7 (14.0) 8 (16.0) 2 (4.1)   
Active play with family dog
 ≤ 2 times /week 28 (17.5) 9 (18.0) 5 (10.0) 13 (26.5) 0.54 0.10
 3 – 6 times / week 49 (30.6) 14 (28.0) 17 (34.0) 14 (28.6)   
 Daily 82 (51.2) 27 (54.0) 28 (56.0) 22 (44.9)   
  1. a6-item measure of pet attachment, scale 1 to 7, higher scores represent greater the attachment to the dog
  2. bInclusion of Other in the Self Scale, a visual scale using two circles (one for child and one for dog) with differential overlap. The greater the overlap the closer the relationship with the other