Evaluation of the effects of a telephone-delivered health behaviour change program on weight and physical activity
Aim: Telephone health behaviour change interventions have shown potential as a medium for change. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a telephone behaviour change program on weight and physical activity. It was hypothesised that participants would achieve significant improvements in body mass index (BMI) and physical activity at the completion of the program and at follow up. Methods: A six-month health telephone behaviour change program was delivered by health professionals trained in health coaching methodology. Participants (n = 250) had two or more chronic disease risks, received five calls during the program and a follow up call 12-18 months after completion of the program. Results: The average participant age was 70, 72% were female and mean BMI was 28.90kg/m2. Significant improvements in BMI were reported from baseline to post-intervention (-1.70% change) and from baseline to follow up (-1.21% change). Changes in weight were significant from baseline to post-intervention (-1.67% change) and not significant from baseline to follow up (-1.25% change). Significant changes in the average number of minutes spent in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA) per week were reported between baseline and post-intervention and post-intervention and follow up. From baseline to follow up, the average time spent in MVPA per week increased by 157 minutes. At follow up, 86% of participants maintained or further improved their health behaviour. Conclusions: The present study demonstrated the potential effectiveness of a low-dose telephone health behaviour change program in assisting participants to change and maintain their health behaviour.