Development of a Multicomponent Intervention to Initiate Health Behavior Change in Primary Care: The Kickstart Health Program

J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2021 Dec;28(4):694-705. doi: 10.1007/s10880-020-09755-z. Epub 2021 Jan 5.


There is a growing movement to integrate behavioral health specialists into primary care settings in order to better manage patients' health behaviors. Group interventions in healthcare settings can provide services to multiple individuals simultaneously; however, the participants' experiences taking part in these activities and the logistics of integrating them into clinical settings are largely under-studied. This article describes the development and implementation of a novel group intervention for health behavior change, The Kickstart Health Program, which integrates components of cognitive, behavioral, acceptance, and experiential therapies. Participant feasibility, acceptability, experiences, and treatment course were assessed. Acceptability among a small sample of attendees was high, and initial data on behavior change suggest there were benefits to patients who attended the program. Increases in mindfulness practice and decreases in exercise barriers from baseline to 10-week follow-up were detected as were improvements in overall perceived health and well-being. Participants expressed that the program was acceptable and successful at helping them reach their individual health goals; however, enrollment barriers negatively impacted the feasibility of the program in regard to attendance. Modification to the enrollment process such as embedding referrals into the electronic medical record, encouraging spouse or family co-enrollment, and peer coaching may address these barriers. The Kickstart Health Program has the potential to improve health behaviors and paves the way for unique studies of dissemination and implementation of efficacious behavioral health interventions into real-world healthcare settings.

Keywords: Exercise; Group therapy; Health behavior change; Mindfulness; Primary care.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Exercise
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Mindfulness*
  • Primary Health Care*