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Table 1 HeLP-her Rural implementation and delivery

From: Evaluation of a large healthy lifestyle program: informing program implementation and scale-up in the prevention of obesity

Community engagement

 Regional government departments and community and school leaders were contacted by email, and a follow-up phone call was made. They were invited to support the program implementation by providing introductions to key community groups and assistance with recruitment and providing facilities for program delivery.

Program setting and facilitation

 The program was facilitated by three tertiary qualified health professionals with expertise in nutrition, physical activity, and evidence-based practice, and all had worked within the Australian health sector previously. Program facilitators underwent a 1-day training day, led by the program leader, which covered the HeLP-her program theory and practical component, as well as provided motivational interviewing techniques.

Program theory and delivery

 The program was designed to be low intensity and focused on participants making small long-term sustainable behavior changes. In this program, 41 rural communities were randomized to intervention or control groups. The control participants attended a single general group health information session. The intervention participants received lifestyle advice through mixed delivery modes including (i) limited personal contact: one group session and (ii) remotely, consisting of one phone coaching session, monthly text message reminders, and a program manual. The delivery methods were designed to reinforce program messages, appeal to various learning styles, and minimize program costs.

Group session

 One 60-min group session was held with 8–15 women at community locations such as schools or halls. Facilitators delivered general health information plus simple health messages. Facilitators using an interactive model and supported by the program manual worked through examples of behavioral self-management skills including setting health priorities, problem solving, and self-monitoring, focusing on small changes to behavior.

Program manual

 The manual included simple information to improve knowledge and included activities to develop self-management skills such as problem solving, goal setting, and action planning. The participants completed the activities during the interactive group session and were then requested to work through manual activities in their own time.

Phone coaching

 Each participant was provided a single 20-min phone coaching session at 16 weeks post intervention commencement. The phone coaching session was delivered by trained coaches to assist completion of manual activities and reinforce program health messages.

SMS text messages and support

 One text message was sent every 4 weeks in line with program messages, to remind the participants of the key program messages and goals.