Background: To describe the iterative development process and final version of 'MobileMums': a physical activity intervention for women with young children (<5 years) delivered primarily via mobile telephone (mHealth) short messaging service (SMS).
Methods: MobileMums development followed the five steps outlined in the mHealth development and evaluation framework: 1) conceptualization (critique of literature and theory); 2) formative research (focus groups, n= 48); 3) pre-testing (qualitative pilot of intervention components, n= 12); 4) pilot testing (pilot RCT, n= 88); and, 5) qualitative evaluation of the refined intervention (n= 6).
Results: Key findings identified throughout the development process that shaped the MobileMums program were the need for: behaviour change techniques to be grounded in Social Cognitive Theory; tailored SMS content; two-way SMS interaction; rapport between SMS sender and recipient; an automated software platform to generate and send SMS; and, flexibility in location of a face-to-face delivered component.
Conclusions: The final version of MobileMums is flexible and adaptive to individual participant's physical activity goals, expectations and environment. MobileMums is being evaluated in a community-based randomised controlled efficacy trial (ACTRN12611000481976).