Translation and implementation of an evidence based program to prevent weight gain in women. (#162)
Halting weight gain in all population groups is an international health priority. Despite the recognised need, few weight gain prevention interventions in adults have been reported. Women living in rural communities are at higher risk for weight gain than their urban counterparts. Our group has developed an evidence based weight gain prevention intervention for women (HeLP-her) shown to be effective through a randomised controlled trial. The primary aim of this study is to adapt, engage communities and implement this behavioural intervention to prevent weight gain in women living in small rural communities in Australia.
Between September 2011 and March 2012 women aged between 18 and 50 years living in 42 small rural towns in Victoria were recruited and a low intensity behavioural intervention delivered. In this cluster randomised trial the item of randomisation (or cluster) is the town with data analysed at the individual level. Primary endpoints are measured weight change, diet and physical activity and self-management behaviours measured at baseline, one year and two years.
We have engaged 42 communities (n=21 control and n=21 intervention) and 650 women through a comprehensive communication and media strategy. Despite the complexity, the program has been successfully adapted and implemented. Here we will present outcomes of community engagement, recruitment strategies, baseline data and learnings from implementation of this complex intervention in the community.
Community prevention interventions in real life settings are complex and challenging. To our knowledge this is one of the largest prevention related RCTs in adults in Australia and the learnings from this project will impact on population weight gain prevention strategies nationally.