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Evaluating factors influencing the delivery and outcomes of an incentive-based behaviour change strategy targeting child obesity: protocol for a qualitative process and impact evaluation
  1. Gemma Enright1,2,
  2. Alex Gyani2,
  3. Simon Raadsma2,
  4. Margaret Allman-Farinelli3,
  5. Chris Rissel4,
  6. Christine Innes-Hughes4,
  7. Sarah Lukeis5,
  8. Anthony Rodgers1,
  9. Julie Redfern1
  1. 1The George Institute for Global Health (Cardiovascular Division), Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, Behavioural Insights Unit, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. 3Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4Ministry of Health, NSW Office of Preventive Health, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  5. 5The Better Health Company, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Gemma Enright; genright{at}


Introduction Community-based weight management programmes are important in addressing childhood obesity. However, the mechanisms that lead to behaviour change within the programmes are rarely studied within the context of the programmes themselves once they have been implemented. This means that further potential gains in the effectiveness of the programme are often not made and any potential losses of efficacy are often not noticed. Qualitative research alongside randomised controlled trials (RCTs) can tell us the context in which these programmes are implemented and elucidate potential mediators or modifiers of the programmes' effectiveness. The aim of this evaluation is to determine the barriers and enablers to the delivery and impact of an incentive-based behaviour change strategy targeting child obesity to inform future translation.

Methods and analysis Qualitative analysis, including stakeholder and family interviews, focus groups and a survey, will be used. The research will be conducted in collaboration with policymakers, researchers and community health professionals. Participants will be selected from programme providers, and parents/carers and children participating in an Australian community weight management programme during an RCT examining the effectiveness of incentives for improving behaviour change. A maximum variation sampling method based on participant demographics and group characteristics will be used. Thematic analysis will be carried out inductively based on emergent themes, using NVivo V.9.

Ethics and dissemination This research is approved by the South West Sydney Human Ethics Committee review body (HREC/14/LPOOL/480). The evaluation will provide information about the contextual and influencing factors related to the outcomes of the RCT. The results will assist researchers, community health practitioners and policymakers regarding the development, implementation and translation of behaviour change strategies in community initiatives for obese children. Insights gained may be applicable to a range of chronic conditions where similar preventive intervention approaches are indicated.

Trial registration number ACTRN12615000558527, Pre-results.


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  • Contributors GE led the drafting of all sections of the article in consultation with all the coauthors. JR/GE led the application for funding for this work. All authors provided substantial contribution to the concept and design of the evaluation, drafted the protocol paper and reviewed critically for important intellectual content and final approval of the version for publication.

  • Funding This research is funded in-kind provided by the George Institute for Global Health and the Department for Premier and Cabinet. GE is funded by a PhD scholarship through the George Institute for Global Health within a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) program grant ID1052555. JR is funded by a Career Development and Future Leader Fellowship co-funded by NHMRC and the National Heart Foundation. AR is funded by an NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship APP1124780. JR and AR are investigators on NHMRC program grant ID1052555.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval South West Sydney Human Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The findings of this study will be disseminated via the usual scientific forums including peer-reviewed publications and presentations at international conferences. The study will be administered by the George Institute for Global Health, with the design and conduct overseen by a Steering Committee. Unpublished data from the study such as anonymised transcripts and coded survey data set may be requested from the corresponding author at Consent will be obtained from study participants for transcripts prior to dissemination.