Healthy dads, healthy kids UK, a weight management programme for fathers: feasibility RCT

Tania Griffin, Yongzhong Sun, Manni Sidhu, Peymane Adab, Adrienne Burgess, Clare Collins, Amanda Daley, Andrew Entwistle, Emma Frew, Pollyanna Hardy, Kiya Hurley, Laura Jones, Eleanor Mcgee, Miranda Pallan, Myles Young, Philip J Morgan, Kate Jolly

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Objective To assess (1) the feasibility of delivering a culturally adapted weight management programme, Healthy Dads, Healthy Kids United Kingdom (HDHK-UK), for fathers with overweight or obesity and their primary school-aged children, and (2) the feasibility of conducting a definitive randomised controlled trial (RCT). Design A two-arm, randomised feasibility trial with a mixed-methods process evaluation. Setting Socioeconomically disadvantaged, ethnically diverse localities in West Midlands, UK. Participants Fathers with overweight or obesity and their children aged 4-11 years. Intervention Participants were randomised in a 1:2 ratio to control (family voucher for a leisure centre) or intervention comprising 9 weekly healthy lifestyle group sessions. Outcomes Feasibility of the intervention and RCT was assessed according to prespecified progression criteria: study recruitment, consent and follow-up, ability to deliver intervention, intervention fidelity, adherence and acceptability, weight loss, using questionnaires and measurements at baseline, 3 and 6 months, and through qualitative interviews. Results The study recruited 43 men, 48% of the target sample size; the mean body mass index was 30.2 kg/m 2 (SD 5.1); 61% were from a minority ethnic group; and 54% were from communities in the most disadvantaged quintile for socioeconomic deprivation. Recruitment was challenging. Retention at follow-up of 3 and 6 months was 63%. Identifying delivery sites and appropriately skilled and trained programme facilitators proved difficult. Four programmes were delivered in leisure centres and community venues. Of the 29 intervention participants, 20 (69%) attended the intervention at least once, of whom 75% attended ≥5 sessions. Sessions were delivered with high fidelity. Participants rated sessions as good/very good' and reported lifestyle behavioural change. Weight loss at 6 months in the intervention group (n=17) was 2.9 kg (95% CI-5.1 to-0.6). Conclusions The intervention was well received, but there were significant challenges in recruitment, programme delivery and follow-up. The HDHK-UK study was not considered feasible for progression to a full RCT based on prespecified stop-go criteria. Trial registration number ISRCTN16724454.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere033534
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Medical Journal Open
Issue number12
Early online date10 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Dec 2019


  • Feasibility studies
  • Fathers
  • Weight loss
  • Healthy lifestyle


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