Background: Community-based programmes for children with excess weight are widely available, but few have been developed to meet the needs of culturally diverse populations. We adapted an existing children's weight management programme, focusing on Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities. We report the evaluation of this programme to assess feasibility of programme delivery, acceptability of the programme to participants from diverse communities, and feasibility of methods to inform a future trial.
Methods: A cluster-randomised feasibility trial was undertaken in a large UK city. Children's weight management programmes (n = 24) were randomised to be delivered as the adapted or the standard programme (2:1 ratio). Routine data on participant attendance (n = 243) at the sessions were used to estimate the proportion of families completing the adapted and standard programmes (to indicate programme acceptability). Families planning to attend the programmes were recruited to participate in the feasibility study (n = 92). Outcome data were collected from children and parents at baseline, end of programme, and 6 months post-programme. A subsample (n = 24) of those attending the adapted programme participated in interviews to gain their views of the content and delivery and assess programme acceptability. Feasibility of programme delivery was assessed through observation and consultation with facilitators, and data on costs were collected.
Results: The proportion of Pakistani and Bangladeshi families and families of all ethnicities completing the adapted programme was similar: 78.8% (95% CI 64.8-88.2%) and 76.3% (95% CI 67.0-83.6%) respectively. OR for completion of adapted vs. standard programme was 2.40 (95% CI 1.32-4.34, p = 0.004). The programme was feasible to deliver with some refinements, and participant interview data showed that the programme was well received. Study participant recruitment was successful, but attrition was high (35% at 6 months). Data collection was mostly feasible, but participant burden was high. Data collection on cost of programme delivery was feasible, but costs to families were more challenging to capture.
Conclusions: This culturally adapted programme was feasible to deliver and highly acceptable to participants, with increased completion rates compared with the standard programme. Consideration should be given to a future trial to evaluate its clinical and cost-effectiveness.
Trial registration: ISRCTN81798055, registered: 13/05/2014.
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