Screening data will be collected from patient notes and entered directly into the study database by members of the trial team working within each research site. Exceptionally, data may be entered onto paper case record forms prior to entry onto the database. Data collection, data entry, and queries raised by a member of the trial team will be managed in line with the NCTU and trial specific data management processes. Identification logs, screening logs, and enrolment logs will be kept at the trial site in a locked cabinet within a secured room. Patient reported screening data will be entered directly into the study database by the participant and their parent via an online questionnaire.

Young people and parents will be followed-up at 14 and 26 weeks. To maximise engagement with the young people in the study, baseline and follow-up data collection is planned as a group session (in trial groups), with the young people completing the outcome measures as online questionnaires either on their smartphones, or on tablets provided by the group facilitator. Individual follow-up via online questionnaire will be available where preferred by the young person. Caregiver burden data will be collected from parents via online survey, either at the group session or at home.

Attendance, adherence, and physical exertion data will be recorded on a paper form at each intervention session by the REP, and then entered into the study database immediately after the session has concluded. Heart rate data during the session will be recorded using chest band monitors and relayed to the REP’s tablet via Bluetooth. It will then be entered manually into the study database by the REP.

Psychological measures

Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI 2 [44];), which measures self-reported depressive symptoms in youth aged 7–17 years and takes 5–15 min to complete (primary outcome for the potential full trial)

Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS [65];), with two 10-item sub-scales for positive and negative affect

New General Self-Efficacy scale [66], an eight-item measure to assess how much people believe they can achieve their goals to engage in exercise

Multidimensional scale of perceived Social Support (MSPSS [67];), a twelve-item measure designed to measure perceptions of support from family, friends, and a significant other

A six-item COM-B measure asking participants how much they agree that they have the Capability (Physical and Psychological), Opportunity (Social and Physical), and Motivation (Reflective and Automatic) to be regularly active [68].

Burden Scale for Family Caregivers – short form (BSFC-s [69];) is a ten-item scale to measure perceived burden on families.

Peak and average heart rate (Polar, H10, Polar Electro, Kempele, Finland) and rating of perceived exertion during the intervention sessions [70]. Physical activity beyond the intervention sessions by accelerometer (GENEActiv Original, Activinsights, Cambridgeshire, UK) and the Youth Physical Activity Questionnaire (Y-PAQ [71];).

For trial intervention safety, adverse events are recorded.

EQ-5D-5L, a measure of Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL [72];) uses both descriptive scales (five items) and a visual scale (EuroQol Visual Analogue System (EQ-VAS)); Child Health Utility 9D (CHU-9D [73];). A HRQoL questionnaire which will take approximately 5 min to complete. There are nine multiple-choice questions, each with a choice of five answers; modified client service receipt inventory (CSRI [74];) completed with the MHSW. If the young person is unable to complete this measure, then the parent/carer will be asked to provide missing information.

A process evaluation will be conducted to identify and address key issues to inform and facilitate the main trial. It will examine intervention delivery and contamination between arms, barriers and facilitators to engagement of young people, and recruitment methods. The findings will be used to refine the intervention and study delivery for the main trial. Mixed methods used will include:

Intervention logs completed by the REPs and MHSWs to examine intervention delivery and adherence, including numbers of young people attending, activities undertaken, and duration of each activity.

Independent observations of 5–10% of the intervention sessions using an observation checklist to ascertain fidelity to the training.

Focus groups with young people after the intervention sessions are completed (one focus group per site). Purposive sampling will be used to invite a diverse mix of young people to the focus groups. A semi-structured topic guide will be used to explore acceptability of the intervention and study methods, and barriers and facilitators to participation.

Focus groups with the REPs and MHSWs involved in intervention delivery, in order to explore experiences of training and delivery (one focus group per site). A semi-structured topic guide will be used to explore experiences of intervention training and delivery.

Case report forms will record young people’s reasons for declining to participate in order to inform recruitment strategies in the main trial. We will also record non-identifiable demographic information such as ethnicity and sex.

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