Improving retention rates in the Get Healthy Information and Coaching Service
High rates of participant drop-out are a problem in many health promotion programs, with research showing that those who complete such programs have better outcomes. This is the case for the Get Healthy Service (GHS), a telephonic health coaching service delivered free of charge to adults in NSW to assist them to be active, eat healthy and lose weight. This Partnership Project draws upon a long-term collaboration between the NSW Ministry of Health, which initiated the GHS, The University of Sydney and The University of Queensland that has overseen GHS evaluation and reporting. The Partners also include the GHS provider, Healthways, and the GHS overseer, Healthdirect. Together, we aim to improve GHS retention (i.e. program completion) rates from 25 per cent to at least 40 per cent without compromising the effectiveness of the GHS in improving weight loss and related behavioural outcomes. The 15 per cent improvement in retention was arrived at in consultation with project partners, as it represents a level of improvement deemed sufficient to inform subsequent changes to service delivery.