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Health Promot J Austr. 2012 Dec;23(3):177-82.

Participant perceptions of a community-based lifestyle intervention: the CHIP.

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School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Western Sydney, Australia.



The Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP) is a community-based educational initiative designed to improve cardiovascular fitness and other health indicators associated with common, lifestyle-related health disorders in developed societies. Evaluations of the CHIP since the late 1990s, though yielding positive statistical results for change in participant physical health indicators, have not included qualitative assessments of the CHIP experience from the perspectives of CHIP participants.


Data were obtained using a mixed methods survey design via a questionnaire completed by 79 respondents (71% female) who had participated in Australian CHIP programs. Responses were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.


Participants commonly undertook the CHIP to fulfil their lifestyle and health aspirations and to target specific health conditions. Improved diet, enhanced exercise and weight loss were the most commonly reported benefits. Participation in the CHIP involves a process of conviction (involving risks and motivation), connection (involving support and reinforcement), challenge (involving control and struggle) and change (involving more and less).


This study offers a model of a change process generated from the perspectives of participants of the CHIP in Australia. Not all participants found CHIP lifestyle recommendations straightforward to adopt, as some encountered resistance from within themselves or from family and friends.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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