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Trials. 2014 Nov 27;15:463. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-463.

Recruitment results among families contacted for an obesity prevention intervention: the Obesity Prevention Tailored for Health Study.

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Department of Research & Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Southern California, 100 S, Los Robles, 2nd Floor, Pasadena, CA 91101, USA.



Overweight and obesity are serious threats to health and increase healthcare utilization and costs. The Obesity Prevention Tailored for Health (OPT) study was designed to test the effectiveness of a family-based intervention targeting diet and physical activity. We describe the results of efforts to recruit parents and children enrolled in a large managed-care organization into the OPT study.


Parents with 10- to 12-year-old children were randomly selected from the membership of Kaiser Permanente Southern California, a large integrated health plan, and contacted between June 2010 and November 2011. We describe recruitment outcomes and compare characteristics of parents and children who did and did not participate. Information was collected from calls with parents and through the administrative and electronic medical records of the health plan.


Of the 4,730 parents contacted, 16.1% expressed interest in participation (acceptors), 28.8% declined participation (refusers), 4.7% were ineligible, and, even after multiple attempts, we were unable to reach 50.4%. Slightly less than half of the acceptors (n = 361) were ultimately randomized to receive either the OPT program plus usual care or usual care alone (7.6% of all parents initially contacted). There were not any significant differences between acceptors who were or were not randomized. Overall, we found that acceptors were more likely to be female parents, have overweight/obese children, and higher utilization of outpatient visits by parents and children compared with refusers and those we were unable to reach. We found no differences in recruitment outcomes by body mass index or comorbidity score of the parents, level of physical activity of the parents and children, education of the parents, or household income.


Recruiting parents and children into an obesity prevention program in a healthcare setting proved to be challenging and resource-intensive. Barriers and incentives for participation in obesity prevention programs need to be identified and addressed. Concern for the weight of their children may motivate parents to participate in family-based lifestyle interventions; however, the healthcare setting may be more relevant to weight-related treatment than to primary prevention.



ISRCTN06248443, 30 January 2014.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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