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Table 3 Examples of GFHS Family Advisory Council feedback and resulting study changes

From: Putting family into family-based obesity prevention: enhancing participant engagement through a novel integrated knowledge translation strategy

Study issue discussed Changes implemented based on council feedback
• Ideas for how to increase outreach and engagement with families participating in the Guelph Family Health Study. • Provide families with mailed birthday cards and holiday-themed emails.
• Send health reports to families with information from 6 and 18-month study Health Assessment visits (height and weight for children; blood pressure, heart rate, % fat mass, % fat free mass for adults).
• Six families provided written testimonials, family pictures and recorded videos to highlight their study experiences on our social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter and study website).
• Facebook posts created to maintain the GFHS’s online presence and activity within the community. Parents indicated that along with updates about the study, the GFHS is a trusted source of information for them, so posts linking them to healthy recipes and trusted health articles would be welcome.
• A GFHS blog will be created in Fall 2017 on our website with monthly posts related to family health as well as guest posts from study participants about their experiences in the study.
• To help busy families have more family meals and improve their dietary intake, parents requested recipe ideas for quick, easy and healthful meals. • The GFHS created a crowd funding initiative in Dec. 2015 to develop three seasonal recipe books with easy, kid-friendly, quick and healthy meal ideas. These online books were distributed free to participating families (following feedback from the Family Advisory Council on format) and can be accessed free here:
• Parents reviewed the GFHS consent form and the University of Guelph Research Ethics Board (REB) to provide a participant perspective. • A report was created for the University of Guelph REB to assist with the creation of new university-wide online consent forms.
• Parents reviewed and requested more detailed information be included in the intervention emails. Parents also provided insight towards the moving the study’s health behaviour messages from email to text delivery. • Changed intervention messages to include more multi-seasonal content as well as links to access more detailed information for interested parents.
• Parents indicated that texts provide the opportunity for in-the-moment reminders for healthy behaviours and are more convenient for busy families. The study team is working on changing to a text-based format for the delivery of the bi-weekly (intervention) and monthly (control) health behaviour messages.
• Parents reviewed and provided feedback on new study questionnaires to assess food skills and food purchasing habits of families with young children. Parents pilot-tested the survey in Winter 2016. • Questionnaires assessing food skills and food purchasing habits were updated to include Council suggestions such as including questions about using technology (i.e., apps) to assist with food preparation.
• Parents provided suggestions on how to make children’s accelerometers easier to wear. • We are now sending accelerometers with extra wrist bands to use as replacements if bands get wet. We have also purchased bands with varying colours to increase the “kid-friendliness”.
• The study has also moved to having the children wear the accelerometers on the hip only (vs. hip and wrist) as children seem to prefer the hip bands.
• Parents provided their thoughts towards sources of funding for the study (i.e. research grants vs. industry funding) • Based on parent feedback, the GFHS will not explore sources of funding from industry. Parents expressed concern with the bias that such sources may have on the study or the perceptions that such funding may put on the study within the community.