Iterative development of MobileMums: a physical activity intervention for women with young children

Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2012 Dec 20;9:151. doi: 10.1186/1479-5868-9-151.


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).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Phone*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Communication / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mothers*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Text Messaging*