The HEROs Self-Care Program: targeting maternal self-care in obesity prevention

Hobbs, Savannah, author
Bellows, Laura, advisor
Johnson, Susan L., committee member
Coatsworth, Doug, committee member
Faw, Meara, committee member
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Colorado State University. Libraries
Background: Obesity has continued to be a major health concern for adults and children in the United States, and maternal mindful self-care behaviors related to healthy eating, physical activity (PA), and stress management play an important role in child weight status, especially in early, formative years. Rural mothers, however, face unique barriers to these health behaviors. Objective: To design a mindful self-care intervention and investigate its feasibility and acceptability for mothers of preschoolers living in rural Colorado with limited resources. Methods: The Healthy EnviROnments (HEROs) Self-Care program was designed using Intervention Mapping and the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model to integrate Social Cognitive Theory, effective behavior change strategies, and tailor the intervention to the audience contexts. The resulting program included 2 group workshops and 4 individual health coaching sessions via videoconferencing with topics on healthy eating, PA, stress management, and goal setting for health. Baseline health measures (weight status, cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors, and health behaviors) were gathered on participants (n = 23) at 3 health fairs to provide information on the health status of the target audience, and the intervention was piloted with a subsample (n = 6) to inform program feasibility (e.g., feasibility of data collection and program implementation). Post-intervention interviews informed program acceptability (e.g., components that functioned well and areas for further refinement). Results: Audience input informed the development of the HEROs Self-Care program, resulting in a theory-based intervention integrating best practices and consideration for audience-specific barriers to behavior change. The pilot outlined effective intervention strategies such as videoconferencing technology and individual health coaching sessions as well as future areas for refinement like additional healthy eating content and improved integration of mindfulness and digital supports. Baseline health measures did not meet recommendations, further indicating a need for a program to address maternal health. Conclusion: The HEROs Self-Care program was designed systematically to target maternal self-care as an approach for childhood obesity prevention efforts. Audience feedback and baseline health data supported the need for a maternal self-care intervention within childhood obesity interventions, and the intervention pilot revealed the program to be feasible and acceptable.
2021 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
mindfulness, rural, stress management, physical activity, healthy eating, self-care