: Universal prevention approaches that target the general population can be effective for promoting children's health. This overview aims to summarize evidence presented in existing reviews of school-based interventions.
: We present an overview of evidence sourced from Campbell and Cochrane systematic reviews. These reviews examined randomized controlled trials concerning school-based health-promotion programs for children (mostly aged 4-18 years) in the general population.
: We identified 56 high-quality reviews. The reviews focused on emotional and behavioral outcomes, infectious diseases, injury reduction, mental health, nutrition intake, oral health, physical and developmental changes, sense-organ diseases, sexual-health outcomes, and substance use/abuse. Positive evidence-such as vision screening plus provision of free spectacles for spectacle wear increase and a combination of social competence and social-influence approaches for preventing illicit drug use-were considered high certainty.
: Of the various interventions implemented in school settings that involved people from various occupations, some positive effects were found. In most cases, evidence certainty was negatively affected by a high risk of bias within studies, inconsistencies within the estimates, and insufficient sample sizes. Further primary studies in these areas would be helpful for accumulating evidence to promote stronger cooperation between health and education stakeholders.
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