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J Health Serv Res Policy. 2011 Apr;16 Suppl 1:2-7. doi: 10.1258/jhsrp.2010.010076.

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

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  • 1Child Nutrition and Obesity, Telford and Wrekin Community Health Services, Colliers Way, Old Park, Telford, UK.



To develop, implement and evaluate a family-based childhood weight management programme.


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.


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.


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.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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