Chronic diseases are the leading cause of illness and death1 and are largely attributable to modifiable risk factors including diet, physical activity, smoking and obesity2. Midlife adults face increased risk with the lifetime cumulative effect of unhealthy lifestyle leading to physiological and metabolic changes including hypertension, high cholesterol and weight gain3. This study aimed to pilot test a novel 8 week intervention (GroWell for Health Program) to reduce lifestyle risk factors in midlife adults.
Adult volunteers aged 40 to 59 were randomly allocated to one of two groups. Arm A undertook the Program independently using the Program eBook, with Arm B receiving eBook plus virtual nurse coaching. The Program uses structured health education and motivational interviewing to promote healthy eating, increased physical activity, stress management, better sleep and improved health literacy. Data were collected using online questionnaires using validated instruments, open ended questions and semi-structured exit interviews.
Forty adults (N = 40) enrolled in the study, the majority being female. Participants in both study arms reported positive feedback about Program structure and content. Those receiving nurse coaching valued the personalised and tailored support they received, with preliminary results suggesting increased health behaviour change over time compared to the group completing the program independently. Low recruitment of males suggests the need for gender tailored recruitment and program delivery.
Community based eHealth interventions such as the GroWell for Health Program show promise as a means to prevent the growing burden of obesity and chronic disease. Virtual eHealth delivery allows improved reach and flexible delivery with nurse coaching providing personalised support for health behaviour change and risk factor reduction. Further refinement and gender tailoring of the Program is planned as part of a larger trial to fully evaluate efficacy.