Feasibility of a culturally adapted early childhood obesity prevention program among migrant mothers in Australia: a mixed methods evaluation

Sarah Marshall, Sarah Taki, Penny Love, Yvonne Laird, Marianne Kearney, Nancy Tam, Louise A. Baur, Chris Rissel, Li Ming Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction: Healthy Beginnings is an established nurse-led early childhood obesity prevention program that promotes healthy infant feeding practices and active play in the early years of life. To improve engagement with culturally and linguistically diverse populations, the Healthy Beginnings program delivered by telephone was culturally adapted and implemented with Arabic- and Chinese-speaking mothers in Sydney, Australia. The cultural adaptation process has been published separately. In this article, we aimed to evaluate the feasibility of the culturally adapted program. Methods: In 2018–2019, the culturally adapted Healthy Beginnings program was implemented with Arabic- and Chinese-speaking women recruited from antenatal clinics in Sydney. At four staged timepoints (from third trimester until 6 months of age), mothers were sent culturally adapted health promotion booklets and text messages and offered four support calls from bi-cultural child and family health nurses in Arabic and Chinese. A mixed methods evaluation included a) baseline and 6-month telephone surveys, followed by b) semi-structured follow-up interviews with a subset of participating mothers and program delivery staff. Main outcomes of this feasibility study were reach (recruitment and retention), intervention dose delivered (number of nurse support calls completed) and acceptability (appropriateness based on cognitive and emotional responses). Results: At recruitment, 176 mothers were eligible and consented to participate. Of 163 mothers who completed the baseline survey, 95% completed the program (n = 8 withdrew) and 83% completed the 6-month survey (n = 70 Arabic- and n = 65 Chinese-speaking mothers). Most mothers (n = 127, 78%) completed at least one nurse support call. The qualitative analysis of follow-up interviews with 42 mothers (22 Arabic- and 20 Chinese-speaking mothers) and 10 program delivery staff highlighted the perceived value of the program and the positive role of bi-cultural nurses and in-language resources. Mothers who completed more nurse support calls generally expressed greater acceptability. Conclusions: The culturally adapted Healthy Beginnings program was feasible to deliver and acceptable to Arabic- and Chinese-speaking mothers. Our results highlight the importance of in-language resources and individualised bi-cultural nurse support by telephone for supporting culturally and linguistically diverse migrant families with infant feeding and active play. These findings support the potential for program refinements and progression to an effectiveness trial.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1159
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


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