Development of an Evidence-Informed Blog to Promote Healthy Eating Among Mothers: Use of the Intervention Mapping Protocol.

Dumas (2017)
Summary by 

Low adherence to dietary guidelines and a concurrent rise of obesity-related chronic diseases emphasize the need for effective interventions to promote healthy eating. There is growing recognition that behavior change interventions should draw on theories of behavior change. Online interventions grounded in theory lead to increased effectiveness for health behavior change; however, few theory-driven social media-based health promotion interventions have been described in the literature. The objective of this study was to describe the application of the Intervention Mapping (IM) protocol to develop an evidence-informed blog to promote healthy eating among French-Canadian mothers of preschool and school-aged children. The following six steps of the IM protocol were performed. In Step 1, a preliminary needs assessment included a literature search on theoretical domains predicting Vegetables and Fruits intakes and Milk and Alternatives intakes in adults (ie, knowledge, beliefs about capabilities, beliefs about consequences, intention/goals) and a qualitative study including focus groups to identify female Internet users perceptions of their use of healthy eating blogs. In Step 2, two behavioral outcomes were selected (ie, increase daily intakes of Vegetables and Fruits and Milk and Alternatives of mothers to reach Canadian dietary recommendations) and subsequently divided into six performance objectives inspired by national and international dietary recommendations such as planning for healthy meals. A matrix of change objectives was then created by crossing performance objectives with theoretical domains predicting Vegetables and Fruits intakes and Milk and Alternatives intakes in adults. Step 3 consisted of selecting theory-based intervention methods (eg, modeling and goal setting) and translating them into practical applications for the context of a dietary intervention delivered through a blog. A 6-month intervention was developed in Step 4 in which we aimed to address one performance objective per month in weekly blog publications written by a registered dietitian. For Step 5, we sought to include engagement-promoting methods (eg, peer and counselor support) to promote mothers use of the blog and adherence to the intervention. Finally in Step 6, a randomized controlled trial has been launched to evaluate the effects of the blog on dietary behaviors of French-Canadian mothers. The intervention study is expected to be completed in March 2018. An intervention mapping protocol allowed for effective decision making in the development of a novel knowledge translation tool to increase adherence to dietary recommendations among mothers of preschool and school-aged children.