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Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2019 Dec 18;5:149. doi: 10.1186/s40814-019-0533-3. eCollection 2019.

Feasibility, user experiences, and preliminary effect of Conversation Cards for Adolescents© on collaborative goal-setting and behavior change: protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, 4-515 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, University of Alberta, 11405 - 87 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 1C9 Canada.
2Department of Agricultural, Food, and Nutritional Science, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
3Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
4Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada.
Northeast Community Health Centre, Edmonton, Alberta Canada.



Adolescents and providers can benefit from practical tools targeting lifestyle modification for obesity prevention and management. We created Conversation Cards for Adolescents© (CCAs), a patient-centered communication and behavior change tool for adolescents and providers to use in clinical practice. The purpose of our study is to (i) assess the feasibility of CCAs in a real-world, practice setting to inform full-scale trial procedures, (ii) assess user experiences of CCAs, and (iii) determine the preliminary effect of CCAs on changing behavioral and affective-cognitive outcomes among adolescents.


Starting in early 2019, this prospective study is a nested mixed-methods, theory-driven, and pragmatic pilot randomized controlled trial with a goal to enroll 50 adolescents (13-17 years old) and 9 physicians practicing at the Northeast Community Health Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Adolescents will collaboratively set one S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goal with their physician to implement over a 3-week period; however, only those randomized to the experimental group will use CCAs to inform their goal. Outcome assessments at baseline and follow-up (3 weeks post-baseline) will include behavioral, affective-cognitive, and process-related outcomes.


In examining the feasibility, user experiences, and preliminary effect of CCAs, our study will add contributions to the obesity literature on lifestyle modifications among adolescents in a real-world, practice setting as well as inform the scalability of our approach for a full-scale effectiveness randomized controlled trial on behavior change.

Trial registration: Identifier: NCT03821896.


Adolescent; Health services; Life style; Obesity; Pilot projects

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interestsGDC Ball and M Kebbe developed Conversation Cards for Adolescents© and worked in partnership with Obesity Canada to distribute the cards through their online store of educational tools and resources. No honorarium or other form of payment was given to anyone involved in the preparation of this study. All other authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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