Exploration of mothers’ engagement with the Growing Healthy program: a week-by-week app to promote healthy infant feeding practices

Author: 
Taki, S, Russell, C.G. Campbell, K.J. Laws, R. Denney-Wilson, E
Publication type: 
Conference presentation
Program: 
Stream 1 Families with young children
Year: 
2016
Behaviour Change Conference: Digital Health and Wellbeing, London

This poster is available here.

Introduction 

Interventions for the prevention of childhood obesity are vital if the current trends in obesity are to be reversed.  Participation and take-up of interventions is crucial to the success, but little work has explored participant engagement with interventions and effects on intervention outcomes.  We aimed to explore factors that influenced mothers’ engagement with the Growing healthy program: a mHealth intervention targeting healthy infant feeding practices for socio-economically disadvantaged mothers.

Methods/ Results 

One–on–one semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with a purposeful sample of mothers (n=20) participating in the Growing healthy program when their babies were 9 months old.  Participants with high and low levels of engagement were sampled. The interview guide explored the perceptions of the various features of the app known to affect engagement. These included usability, delivery of the program, quality, design and navigation of the app. Participants varied in their level of engagement with the app, as derived from the app analytics (e.g. number of pages viewed). Data were analysed using a thematic analysis approach. This study will present the features of the app that mothers found useful and engaging and also identify features that were unhelpful or disliked (results are forthcoming) thus identifying opportunities for improving app design and heightening engagement strategies in obesity prevention interventions. 

Conclusions/implications

This is the first study to develop and implement an app supporting mothers with healthy infant feeding behaviours and provides insights to assist further child obesity interventions.