Background: The goal of the Global Health in Preconception, Pregnancy and Postpartum (HiPPP) Alliance, comprising consumers and leading international multidisciplinary academics and clinicians, is to generate research and translation priorities and build international collaboration around healthy lifestyle and obesity prevention among women across the reproductive years. In doing so, we actively seek to involve consumers in research, implementation and translation initiatives. There are limited frameworks specifically designed to involve women across the key obesity prevention windows before (preconception), during and after pregnancy (postpartum). The aim of this paper is to outline our strategy for the development of the HiPPP Consumer and Community (CCI) Framework, with consumers as central to co-designed, co-implemented and co-disseminated research and translation.
Method: The development of the framework involved three phases: In Phase 1, 21 Global HiPPP Alliance members participated in a CCI workshop to propose and discuss values and approaches for framework development; Phase 2 comprised a search of peer-reviewed and grey literature for existing CCI frameworks and resources; and Phase 3 entailed collaboration with consumers (i.e., members of the public with lived experience of weight/lifestyle issues in preconception, pregnancy and postpartum) and international CCI experts to workshop and refine the HiPPP CCI Framework (guided by Phases 1 and 2).
Results: The HiPPP CCI Framework's values and approaches identified in Phases 1-2 and further refined in Phase 3 were summarized under the following five key principles: 1. Inclusive, 2. Flexible, 3. Transparent, 4. Equitable, and 5. Adaptable. The HiPPP Framework describes values and approaches for involving consumers in research initiatives from design to translation that focus on improving healthy lifestyles and preventing obesity specifically before, during and after pregnancy; importantly it takes into consideration common barriers to partnering in obesity research during perinatal life stages, such as limited availability associated with family caregiving responsibilities.
Conclusion: The HiPPP CCI Framework aims to describe approaches for implementing meaningful CCI initiatives with women in preconception, pregnancy and postpartum periods. Evaluation of the framework is now needed to understand how effective it is in facilitating meaningful involvement for consumers, researchers and clinicians, and its impact on research to improve healthy lifestyle outcomes.