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Choosing Healthy Eating for Infant Health (CHErIsH) study: protocol for a feasibility study
  1. Karen Matvienko-Sikar1,
  2. Elaine Toomey2,
  3. Michelle Queally3,
  4. Caragh Flannery1,
  5. Kate O Neill1,
  6. Ted G Dinan4,5,
  7. Edel Doherty3,
  8. Janas M Harrington1,
  9. Catherine Hayes6,
  10. Caroline Heary2,
  11. Marita Hennessy7,
  12. Colette Kelly8,
  13. Sheena M Mc Hugh1,
  14. Jenny McSharry7,
  15. Catherine Stanton5,9,
  16. Tony Heffernan10,
  17. Molly Byrne11,
  18. Patricia M Kearney1
  1. 1 School of Public Health, University College Cork National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland
  2. 2 School of Psychology, National University of Ireland-Galway National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science, Galway, Ireland
  3. 3 J.E. Cairnes School of Business & Economics, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland
  4. 4 Department of Psychiatry, Cork University Hospital and University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  5. 5 APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  6. 6 Public Health and Primary Care, University of Dublin Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
  7. 7 Health Behaviour Change Research Group, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland
  8. 8 Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Change, National University of Ireland Galway College of Science, Galway, Ireland
  9. 9 Moorepark Food Research Centre, Teagasc, Cork, Ireland
  10. 10 Mallow Primary Healthcare Centre, Cork, Ireland
  11. 11 School of Psychology, University of Galway, Galway, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karen Matvienko-Sikar; karen.msikar{at}


Introduction Childhood obesity is a public health challenge. There is evidence for associations between parents’ feeding behaviours and childhood obesity risk. Primary care provides a unique opportunity for delivery of infant feeding interventions for childhood obesity prevention. Implementation strategies are needed to support infant feeding intervention delivery. The Choosing Healthy Eating for Infant Health (CHErIsH) intervention is a complex infant feeding intervention delivered at infant vaccination visits, alongside a healthcare professional (HCP)-level implementation strategy to support delivery.

Methods and analysis This protocol provides a description of a non-randomised feasibility study of an infant feeding intervention and implementation strategy, with an embedded process evaluation and economic evaluation. Intervention participants will be parents of infants aged ≤6 weeks at recruitment, attending a participating HCP in a primary care practice. The intervention will be delivered at the infant’s 2, 4, 6, 12 and 13 month vaccination visits and involves brief verbal infant feeding messages and additional resources, including a leaflet, magnet, infant bib and sign-posting to an information website. The implementation strategy encompasses a local opinion leader, HCP training delivered prior to intervention delivery, electronic delivery prompts and additional resources, including a training manual, poster and support from the research team. An embedded mixed-methods process evaluation will examine the acceptability and feasibility of the intervention, the implementation strategy and study processes including data collection. Qualitative interviews will explore parent and HCP experiences and perspectives of delivery and receipt of the intervention and implementation strategy. Self-report surveys will examine fidelity of delivery and receipt, and acceptability, suitability and comprehensiveness of the intervention, implementation strategy and study processes. Data from electronic delivery prompts will also be collected to examine implementation of the intervention. A cost–outcome description will be conducted to measure costs of the intervention and the implementation strategy.

Ethics and dissemination This study received approval from the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the Cork Teaching Hospitals. Study findings will be disseminated via peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.

  • childhood obesity
  • infant feeding
  • intervention
  • feasibility study
  • process evaluation
  • economic evaluation

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • KM-S and ET contributed equally.

  • Contributors KM-S contributed to study design and development, and wrote the first draft of the paper and revised the paper with critical input from all authors. ET contributed to study design and development, and contributed to writing and revising the paper at all stages. MQ contributed to study design and development, and contributed to writing the first draft of the paper. CF, KON, TGD, MH, CK, JMcS and CS contributed to study design and development, and critically revised the manuscript. PMK, MB, CHa, JMH, ED, CHe, TH and SMcH contributed to the inception of the study and secured research funding, with PMK as project lead, and also contributed to study design and development, and critically revised the manuscript. All authors read, commented on and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This research is supported by a Health Research Board Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Award (HRB ICE 2015-1026).

  • Competing interests None declared.

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

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

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