Participant experiences of an infant obesity prevention program delivered via telephone calls or text messages

Mahalakshmi Ekambareshwar, Sarah Taki, Seema Mihrshahi, Louise A. Baur, Chris Rissel, Li Ming Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


A 3-arm randomised controlled trial implemented in 2017, recruited participants from four Local Health Districts (LHDs) in New South Wales (NSW) to test an early obesity prevention program delivered via telephone calls (telephone) or text messages (SMS). This sub-study explored participants' experience and satisfaction with the program. A multimethod design was used. Quantitative satisfaction questions were completed by participants when their child was six-months old. A purposive sample of participants with varying satisfaction levels was invited for in-depth qualitative interviews. Data were analysed using Excel (quantitative) and inductive thematic analysis (qualitative). Of the 1155 participants recruited: 947 (293 telephone; 338 SMS; 316 control) completed the six-month survey; 34 (14 telephone; 13 SMS; 7 control) were interviewed. Participants' overall program satisfaction was 100% (telephone) and 85% (SMS). Participants' qualitative responses demonstrated appreciation of: personalised stage-based information; opportunity to communicate with health professionals (telephone); linked Healthy Beginnings booklets and SMS mostly as nudges (SMS). There is a clear need for stage-based information, and supplemented modes of delivery i.e., text messages along with telephone calls; with text messages solely seen as nudges or reminders. However, individual preferences vary according to information needs at any given time, time constraints on new mothers and hence, multiple modes of information provision are recommended in order to reach a wider population and for better engagement. Choice and flexibility in mode of delivery has the potential to provide equitable access to information, empowering women with infants to practice recommended health behaviours for infant obesity prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalHealthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • mHealth
  • infant obesity prevention
  • mother
  • process evaluation
  • mobile telephone calls
  • text messages
  • SMS
  • satisfaction
  • perception
  • childhood obesity

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