181851 Recruiting and retaining parents for BodyWorks: The national evaluation of a multi-session parent-focused adolescent obesity prevention program

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 12:45 PM

Sherri Farias, BA , Altarum Institute, Washington, DC
Jodi Anthony, MPH , Altarum Institute, Washington, DC
Namratha Swamy, PhD , Altarum Institute, Washington, DC
Rebecca Ledsky, MBA , Center for Social Marketing and Behavior Change, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, DC
Susan M. Blake, PhD , School of Public Health and Health Services, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC
Jonelle Rowe, MD , Office on Women's Health, US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
Mary Lou Rife, PhD , Rife Communications, Inc., Bethesda, MD
Elizabeth Fassett, MS, CHES , Hager Sharp, Inc, Washington, DC
Rose Hooks , Hager Sharp, Inc, Washington, DC
Background. Parents/caregivers play a critical role in shaping the nutrition and physical-activity patterns of their adolescent daughters. HHS OWH developed BodyWorks, a 10-session, parent-focused adolescent obesity prevention program and conducted an evaluation in sites nationwide.

Method. A quasi-experimental, pre-post comparison-group design was used to evaluate the program. Challenges faced in recruitment and retention of parents/caregivers were initially explored using interviews with six facilitators and survey data collected from 53 intervention parents. Data collection continues through June 2008.

Results. Difficulties encountered in recruiting parents/caregivers included the number of sessions; parent ambivalence about making behavior changes; and limited daughter participation. Strategies successfully used to overcome recruitment challenges included peer recruitment; open-houses; and increasing the number of sessions where daughters could participate. Successful retention strategies included carefully planned scheduling and incentives.

Parents/caregivers enrolled in BodyWorks to learn more about nutrition (75%), cooking healthier meals (66%), or because of concerns about their personal (60%) or family's health (68%). Most parents (88%) attended > 80% of the sessions; scheduling and work conflicts were most cited reasons for missing sessions. Almost all parents/caregivers were satisfied with the training (96%), and planned to continue using elements of BodyWorks in the future (94%). Parents thought that increasing the number of sessions (42%) and including more sessions with girls (37%) could improve BodyWorks.

Conclusions. Recruitment/retention challenges are important considerations for multi-session behavior-change programs. Facilitators can overcome challenges by appealing to parents on personal and family levels. Through thoughtful planning, trainers can overcome attrition.

Learning Objectives:
Learning objectives: At the end of the session, the learner will be able to: 1) Identify recruitment and retention challenges for implementing BodyWorks with parent/caregivers 2) Discuss recruitment and retention strategies for implementing the program with parent/caregivers 3) Understand the reasons why parents are motivated to come to BodyWorks.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an evaluator for the National Evaluation of BodyWorks Toolkit and program
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.