Using intervention mapping to develop a family-based childhood weight management programme

Pittson, Helen and Wallace, Louise (2011). Using intervention mapping to develop a family-based childhood weight management programme. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 16(suppl 1) pp. 2–7.



Objectives: To develop, implement and evaluate a family-based childhood weight management programme. Methods: Programme development utilized Bartholomew's Intervention Mapping framework. This six step structured approach provides planners with a framework that links determinants of health behaviours with performance objectives and strategies to be incorporated into programme design. Using this process a needs analysis and literature review were undertaken, a steering group formed, six focus groups (with a total of n = 47 pupils) were completed and six interviews took place with parents. The determinants were combined with relevant theories to develop the programme. Y W8? is a 12 week course for families with children aged 8-13 years designed to assist with weight management. Participants' height, weight and physical activity levels along with self-esteem scores for children are recorded pre- and post-intervention and at three, six and 12 month follow-up. This paper documents post-course results at 12 weeks. Results: Preliminary results showed children (mean pre-BMI = 28.48 (±4.44), mean post-BMI = 27.48 (±4.45; P = <0.001) and parents (mean pre-BMI = 30.77 (±6.21), mean post-BMI = 30.41 (±6.17; P = 0.017) decreased their BMI over the 12 weeks. These results compare favourably with similar programmes in the UK. Conclusions: Intervention mapping was a useful approach for developing a theory based intervention. Results suggest Y W8? improves the body mass index (BMI) of children and parents at 12 weeks. Further work, including a randomized controlled trial (RCT), will confirm this, investigate the longer-term effectiveness and determine how the effects are mediated by psychological processes.

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