New DECIPHer Study – The CHARMING study: CHoosing Active Role Models to INspire Girls


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Physical activity is a modifiable lifestyle factor, which has been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. Currently, girls in particular are not sufficiently active, with the preadolescence phase associated with a decline in physical activity levels. Evidence suggests that ‘role models’ could provide a mechanism for inspiring young girls to become active with the availability of community links to ensure activity levels are sustainable. To date however, this area of research has predominantly focused on adolescents, and research has yet to examine this area amongst younger girls within the UK-setting.

The CHARMING study will develop a ‘role-model’ intervention that aims to promote sustained changes in physical activity and increase awareness of cancer-preventive behaviours in girls.

Key objectives of the project will include the identification of physical activity or sporting ‘role models’ for preadolescent girls and exploration of opportunities for preadolescent girls to be physically active in the community through addressing the advertisement, availability and accessibility of physical activities.

This project is comprised of two phases. In the first phase, the intervention will be co-developed using qualitative methods with girls, parents, school teachers and other key stakeholders. This phase will also include the development of ‘cancer resource packs’ (containing active ‘warm up’ games involving cancer prevention messages) and  the identification of popular physical activities. In the second phase, the intervention will be piloted (in accordance with the findings from phase one) in the form of a six week ‘role-model’ intervention. This will take place in two primary schools to test the acceptability and feasibility of the novel school-based programme.

This Cancer Research UK funded project is led by DECIPHer’s Dr Kelly Morgan of Cardiff University, and will run from December 2015 to December 2016. For further information on the project, please contact Kelly on (029) 20 870 296, or via email at


Image courtesy of Sangudo – Flickr Creative Commons