Resource mobilization combined with motivational interviewing to promote healthy behaviors and healthy weight in low-income families: An intervention feasibility study

SAGE Open Med. 2022 Jun 11;10:20503121221102706. doi: 10.1177/20503121221102706. eCollection 2022.


Objectives: This non-randomized pilot trial examined the feasibility and acceptability of an intervention for low-income families with one parent with obesity, glucose intolerance and/or diabetes.

Methods: The 12-month intervention combined health coaching using motivational interviewing to promote lifestyle behavior change and community resource mobilization to assist with basic needs plus diet quality and physical activity. Outcome measures included process measures, open-ended questions, and the Family Nutrition and Physical Activity scale.

Results: Forty-five families completed an average of 2.1 health coach in-person visits, including 15 families lost to follow-up. Parents who stayed in the intervention reported the intervention was helpful. Some families and the health coach had difficulties contacting one another, and some of these families reported they would have liked more sessions with the coach. The Family Nutrition and Physical Activity scores improved significantly for all children (6 months: 2.9; p < .01; 12 months: 3.2; p < .05) and at 6 months for index children (6 months: 3.5; p < .01; 12 months: 2.9; p = .09). There was variation in the FNPA and other outcome changes between families.

Conclusion: This intervention was feasible in terms of recruitment and delivery of family sessions and community referrals and acceptable to participants, but maintaining contact with participants was difficult. Findings warrant improvements to help retention and logistical aspects of communication between families and coaches and testing in a randomized, controlled trial.

Keywords: Family; community-based participatory research; intervention; motivational interviewing; obesity prevention.