Translating an early childhood obesity prevention program for local community delivery: The Melbourne Infant Program

Laws, R., Campbell, K., Ball, K., Crawford, D., & Hesketh, K.
Publication type: 
Conference presentation
Stream 1 Families with young children

International Society for Behavioural Nutrition and Physical Activity Meeting, Edinburgh

This presentation is available here

Note the authorship and presentation title differ between the conference program and the final presentation.

Purpose: The Melbourne Infant Feeding, Activity and Nutrition Trial (InFANT) Program is an early obesity prevention program delivered to mothers of infants. It aims to get healthy eating, active play and limiting screen time ‘right from the start›. Efficacy was assessed by a cluster-randomised controlled trial, following which the Victorian Department of Health (Australia) included the Melbourne InFANT Program in their evidence based Healthy Living Programs for local selection by Healthy Together Communities (part of Healthy Together Victoria, an initiative jointly funded by the State Government of Victoria and the Australian Government through the National Partnership Agreement on Preventive Health). This paper describes translation of the Melbourne InFANT Program to enable delivery within local community settings and how it was received by community providers.
Method: To enable delivery by community providers, researchers needed to modify program resources and delivery mode to allow greater flexibility and diversity of delivery. A program website was developed as a repository of program resources for participants, and a secure site for facilitators to access resources and interact with other facilitators. Resources were modified for online access, for example, the purpose-designed DVD used in the research study was converted into short video clips accessed on the program
Results: Facilitator training commenced in September 2013. To date six Healthy Together Communities have taken up the Melbourne InFANT Program; with another four indicating interest in future training. Additional communities have shown interest in running the program if offered beyond Healthy Together Communities. The varying ways communities have operationalised implementation of the program provides insights into the need for flexibility in programs moving from research into practice.
Conclusion: Interest in the Melbourne InFANT Program has been strong. There have been challenges involved in modifying the program to allow for the diverse needs of local communities but the early buy-in from maternal and child health nurses suggests this has been successful. Efficacy of the program within the local community setting is yet to be formally evaluated.
Please note that the final authors of this presentation differ to the authors provided in the conference program.