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Raves, or events revolving around electronic dance music (EDM), consist of people dancing and socializing to an electronic form of music with an accompanying light show and visual effects (Jordan 1995; Martin 1999). Raves range in size from small house parties with thirty or so people in attendance up to massive music festivals attracting crowds of more than thirty thousand (Martin 1999; St John 2009a; Sylvan 2005). These events may occur in urban or rural locations, in clubs or abandoned warehouses, or in outdoor settings on public and private land (Sylvan 2005: 33). Events revolving around EDM became one of the most extensive popular youth movements at the end of the twentieth century, and continue to be popular today on a global scale (Fritz, cited in St John 2009a).
EDM is a genre loosely defined by the use of synthetic electronic instruments in its creation, often in ways that do not sound like traditional musical instruments at all (Gibson & Pagan 2006; Rietveld 2004; St John 2004a). In traditional hardware form, these instruments may include sequencers, synthesizers, drum machines and samplers, all of which are used to make the artificial sounds that comprise most EDM. However, the array of music-making technologies has increased significantly over the last twenty years due to the advent of the personal computer (Rietveld 2004). Many of these innovations consist of cheaper software versions of the previously mentioned hardware music-making tools.
To assess the effectiveness of a brief face-to-face health promotion intervention which included a ‘pledge’ using brief negotiation techniques, compared with standard advice-giving techniques, delivered in a community setting.
A parallel group pre–post design using randomised matched groups. Lifestyle helpers delivered the intervention (one consultation per participant). Diet, physical activity and anthropometric measurements were collected at baseline, 6 months and 12 months. Qualitative data were also collected.
Adults living in low socio-economic areas.
Recruitment and engagement of lifestyle helpers was difficult, and initial expectations that local health authority staff working in the community and community champions would act as lifestyle helpers were not realised. As a consequence, recruitment of participants was lower than anticipated. One hundred and twenty-eight adults were recruited and the retention rate was 48 % at 12 months. Barriers to participation included poor health and competing commitments. No significant differences in change in diet or physical activity behaviours, or BMI, between the intervention and control groups were observed. The control group had a significantly greater decrease in waist circumference at 12 months compared with the intervention group.
This exploratory trial provides important insights in terms of recruiting lifestyle helpers for community-based health promotion interventions, specifically (i) the priorities and limitations in terms of time (regardless of their general enthusiasm) for staff employed by the local health authority, and (ii) the willingness of potential community champions to serve their local community in areas where community identity and ‘spirit’ are seen as lacking.
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